Lonely Planet Writer

Airbus bench seat plan for obese passengers

The growing problem airlines have trying to cope with rising numbers of obese travellers may be solved by a new bigger bench seat design put forward by Airbus.

A new patent has been submitted by Airbus on a seat bench design which could be used to accommodate larger travellers
A new patent has been submitted by Airbus on a seat bench design which could be used to accommodate larger travellers Image by Tony Alter / CC BY 2.0

The aircraft manufacturer has just submitted a new patent for a seating plan for what the company terms “a Re-configurable Passenger Bench Seat’.  This would allow airlines to cater for all shapes and sizes as both the chairs and seatbelts would be adjustable for bigger shapes. In the drawings submitted for its patent, the design shows how two overweight travellers could fit easily with an armrest between them or alternatively how that same space could accommodate three more slender passengers. The concept has the potential to solve the larger passenger issue and may also help families who currently pay full price for seats once children reach two years of age.

Airbus cabin could in future be
Airbus cabins could in future be reconfigured to aid larger travellers or set up for children, leading to a reduction in price for parents who now have to pay full fare if their offspring is over two years old  Image by Joao Carlos Medau / CC BY 2.0

Airbus say that in modern aviation transport, getting the optimum out of space available in a plane is of financial importance. This is the aerospace group’s latest patent, having previously put forward the idea of a stacking seating system for passengers. They also submitted a patent for detachable cabins and folding wings.