AirGo seating concept would take some suck out of economy class

Traveling on airlines in economy class sucks. It really sucks. It sucks because the seats suck, and to try to make themselves feel better about how much the seats suck, everybody reflexively reclines as far as they possibly can, which ultimately just makes things that much more suck-filled.  It's time to stop the insanity, people! But we can't do it alone: we need help. We need infrastructure. We need AirGo seats.

AirGo seats were designed by a Malaysian engineering undergrad named Alireza Yaghoubi, who got sick of having the jerk in front of him recline back into his single-serving meal. Yaghoubi decided to design a seating system that preserves a minimum personal space while efficiently maximizing comfort, all without requiring a first-class footprint. AirGo features a tray table and media display that live above the seats, not inside of them, allowing seats themselves to be thinner and made of mesh, saving space, cost, and weight. Each seat comes with a dedicated overhead bin space and ample legroom. And everyone can recline, or not, without reducing their own space or making things miserable for everyone behind them.

There is, of course, a reason why airlines haven't all adopted this AirGo seats instantly, and it's not just because they'd have to renovate all of their planes and buy a bunch of new hardware. The reason is that the AirGo seats require an increase in seat pitch (which is the space taken up by each seat) of 16%. While more space is great for passengers, it means that airlines can fit 16% fewer seats into that space, which means that either revenue goes down by 16%, or passengers will have to pay 16% more. And unfortunately, the airlines seem to be racing each other to the bottom, with most passengers looking for the absolute lowest fare regardless of comfort and service.

One solution is to mix in some AirGo seating with traditional economy seating and charge a premium for it, sort of like the existing economy plus class, although unlike economy plus, AirGo seems like it might actually be worth the extra money. How about it: would you pay an extra $232 instead of $200 to sit in an AirGo seat instead of a traditional economy class one?

Dyson Awards, via Core77

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