The days of cramped flights soon may be over for overweight travelers.
Airbus Group has filed a patent application earlier this month for a new seating design, one that could relieve the aches and groans of squished globetrotters. The plan would replace airplanes seats with a "reconfigurable passenger bench."
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The advantage to benches is that they could accommodate passengers of various sizes. Obese flyers, small children, or extra passengers might all fit together in a row, for example.
As the applications details, the bench could be used "for occupation by passengers who require increased space," including overweight passengers and those with restricted mobility. The bench could also accommodate expanded capacity, such as seating three passengers or families with small children (two adults and two small children, say).
As so, as found in the patent application:
Airlines seats have shrunk several inches over the past few decades. At the same time, obesity rates in America have been on the rise. The combination has made for an uncomfortable trend on flights: cramming more mass into less space.
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Then again, airlines could just make the regular seats bigger.