An alternative cattle class seat
This from todays (Monday May 1) London Daily Telegraph
Flip seats may cut risk of DVT for airline passengers
By David Millward, Transport Correspondent
Cinema-style "flip seats" could be introduced on aircraft to speed boarding and help cut the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
The aviation industry has been experimenting with ways of maximising the space for passengers and developing materials which would make seats slimmer. The flip seat designs were displayed this month at a trade fair in Hamburg.
New composites are leading to thinner seat backs, but the flip seats are seen as an even better way of increasing the space available. According to Aida, the German manufacturers, passengers will have three times as much room as on a conventional seat.
Boarding will be quicker, because passengers will be able to move swiftly into their seats having stowed their luggage, which in turn means that other passengers will not be backed up the aisle.
Disembarking would also be swifter and going to the lavatory mid-flight will no longer entail clambering awkwardly over the person in the adjacent seat.
One of the biggest advantages will be the ability it gives passengers to stretch their legs. By just standing up they will be able to do a range of exercises which could reduce the risk of DVT, which affects more than 8,000 British passengers a year.
Airlines cannot afford to ignore the problem of DVT, said John Smith, Labour MP for the Vale of Glamorgan. Mr Smith, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on thrombosis, is campaigning for a legal obligation on airlines to have a duty of care for the health and well-being of their passengers.
"These seats could address the problem. Passengers would have room to escape, stand up, wiggle their toes and move around a bit," he said. "This sounds like an intelligent and commercially viable idea."
The flip seats may be one way of reducing the risk, but there are difficulties. Aircraft seats often house the electrics for entertainment systems and the life jacket is stored underneath.
And there is still some scepticism in the airline industry. A spokesman for Thomsonfly said: "We are constantly monitoring the market place for new modifications. If there was demand for this style of seat, and it fitted with our business model, we would consider it."
Nevertheless the flip designs are seen as a more realistic alternative to another version known as "sit-stand" seats, which would cut the space between seats from 31 inches to 26 inches. The seats could also be used on trains and ferries, and increase the number of passengers by 20 per cent.
Arndt Stephan, the vice-president of Aida, said of the sit-stand seats: "We wanted to reduce the pitch, especially on high capacity aircraft. I think for a short time, say no more than an hour, it would be like sitting on a bar stool, but there would be a back rest."
Seems like it might be a good idea so long as the airlines don't use it as an excuse to reduce the seat pitch.