What Economy Class Could Look Like After COVID-19?

What will it take for you to get back on airplane? We know Air Travel will change forever thanks to the Coronavirus worldwide pandemic. Now airline seat designers are showing us what Economy Class could look like after Covid-19. Avio, an Italian-based firm, just released mock images of a revolutionary seating experience that some airlines may consider adopting.

Centered Seats

reverse seating on airplane

Are you ready for reverse center seats. It may look crazy at first, but it’s actually an interesting idea. Avio is suggesting that by spinning the middle seat and facing it toward the tail of the plane, passengers are offered a new level of safety. “Janus”, is the name of the design proposal, and according to the company the configuration “ensures maximum isolation between passengers seated next to each other.” All three passengers in each row will also be separated by plexiglass shields that will isolate them from each other, creating a protective barrier for everyone. “Each passenger has its own space isolated from others, even from people who walk through the aisle.”

British Airways Club World

If you have ever travelled on British Airways groundbreaking Club World Business Class then you have seen the reverse seating configuration. While it can be a little uncomfortable staring at the passenger who is sitting next to you, there’s a divider that you can raise as soon as the plane gets in the air. A few other airlines have adopted the seating arrangement and it seems to be a hit with Business Class Travelers. It makes sense that it could translate well to Coach Passengers as well. Let’s be honest, anything that makes the middle seat experience better is a welcome addition.

Now before we get carried away, understand this is just a prototype and implementing such a seating arrangement is years away. Plus there is the question of how these changes would effect people who are traveling together, especially families with young children. But it does show that designers are reacting to the crisis and trying to offer the airlines solutions. In the end, the need for social distancing and to get people back on planes could outweigh any inconvenience of the new designs.

Airline Seat Changes COVID-19

Divided Seats

On the simpler side, Avio proposed a configuration (pictured above) which could easily be added to existing aircraft. “Glassafe” is a transparent material that would make the “entire cabin harmonious and aesthetically light, but perfectly fulfilling the objective of creating an isolated area around the passenger in order to avoid or minimize contacts and interactions … to reduce the probability of contamination by viruses or other.” Basically there would be a plexiglass divider between each passenger, but is that enough? You would still be seated just inches away from another traveler, mask or no mask would you feel comfortable?

The Flight Attendants Union has asked that every person who enters any airport be provided, free of charge, with a mask. It seems like a great first step in the battle against Covid-19 but there will definitely have to be structural changes before we feel comfortable again on an airplane. The commercial air travel space is already undergoing renovations. To get an idea of what you can expect in 2020, click here.

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Eric has revolved in and out of passport controls for over 20 years. From his first archaeological field school in Belize to rural villages in Ethiopia and Buddhist temples in Laos, Eric has come smile to smile with all walks of life. A writer, photographer and entrepreneur, the LA native believes the power of connectivity and community is enriched through travel.

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