New double-decker seat design on planes would let all passengers lie flat in Economy

FLYING in Economy has been getting increasingly uncomfortable, as airlines continue to squeeze in extra seats to make money. 

But a new design by a start-up company could transform air travel by creating two tiers of seating inside the cabin – allowing each passenger to have a lie-flat seat. 

 Zephyr Aerospace came up with the plans to give passengers more space, but also more isolation – which will be key to getting travellers back in the air following the coronavirus pandemic. 

The seats would be built in rows of 2-4-2 across the cabin, so airlines wouldn't have to reduce the number of passengers on each plane. 

The designer Jeffrey O’Neill told CNN that he came up with the idea after taking a long-haul flight to Singapore.

He said: “'I'm on probably the best rated airline in the world, and I'm getting wonderful service and the food is edible, but I can't sleep."

He added: "[It was] really uncomfortable. Why is it so difficult to find an affordable way to lie flat on a flight that's 19 hours?''

Mr O’Neill then came up with the idea of fitting a second row of seats where the overhead cabins are currently. 

He said: “We basically retrofitted a whole other seat on top of another, so it's essentially two levels.

"It's not as tall off the ground as people might imagine, it's only four and a half feet off the ground from the entry point to the lower seat to the upper seat.”

It is not clear whether the overhead storage would be replaced elsewhere in the cabin, so that passengers could continue to bring hand luggage with them onboard. 

Allowing all passengers to recline flat would curb the arguments that regularly flare up between passengers when a person goes to push their seat back.

In February, an American Airlines passenger went viral after she tried to shame a fellow traveller who she claimed pummelled her head-rest after she reclined her seat during a flight.

Passenger Wendi Williams filmed the man repeatedly hitting the top of the seat – but it left social media divided.

As the man was in the back row, he was unable to recline his own seat.

Some people were on her side, saying he should have been taken off the flight while others believed the woman shouldn't have reclined her seat.

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