My notes as I explore various business and financial topics

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Like Riding Horseback in the Sky!

Ever since these new airline seats debut at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas conference in Long Beach, CA, they've been spotlighted all over the media.  I first spotted them in a USA Today article and have seen them in a dozen other venue since: CNN, radio talk shows, and all the blogger news and Twitter feeds that I subscribe to.

In stark contrast to Continental's new luxurious business class seats, the Skyrider airline saddle seats straddle the minimalistic line from hell.

Aviointerior, the creators of the Skyrider, claims these seats will emulate the comfort of horsebacking riding.

"Cowboys ride eight hours on their horses during the day and still feel comfortable in the saddle," cites an official from the Italian based, airline interior design firm.

Maybe so, but cowboys aren't packed into a giant sardine can with a hundred other horses just a foot away.

As many commentators noted, the passenger pictured doesn't look very comfortable -- in the showcase seats with nothing in front of her.  Now, imagine yourself on this contraption, sandwiched in between rows with the back of the other seat less than 23 inches away from your face!

Still Aviointerior is confident the Skyrider will find market appeal due to the cost savings these space saving seats offer. And with airlines desperately searching for more ways to cut cost, they may be on to something.

Still, can you think of any other industry where such customer loathed designs are unveiled with such fanfare?

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