As if flying cattle class wasn’t bad enough as it is, budget airlines now have a new instrument of torment to inflict upon long-suffering passengers - face-to face seating.
The eyeball to eyeball configuration has been pioneered by aircraft fittings supplier Zodiac, which has discovered that by alternating forward and rear facing seating down both aisles of short haul flights more passengers can clamber aboard.
Whether the system is ever implemented is of course another matter with no frills carrier Ryanair, which might ordinarily be the first to jump at the chance of saving a few pennies, currently in the midst of a PR offensive to prove it does care about passenger welfare after all.
Dismissing such concerns however Zodiac insists that their configuration will compensate passengers for their loss of privacy with more shoulder and legroom with vice-president Pierre-Antony Vastra, saying: “It’s a different way of travelling, with people facing each other. We can have nice conversations.”
Industry analysts have expressed doubt as to whether the ‘hexagon’ configuration will ever see the light of day however due to the added difficulties it presents for evacuation.
Adding to passenger torment, Airbus recently investigated the possibility of introducing flip-up seats, designed to make entry and egress easier on crowded flights.