Saddling Up for Cheaper Fares?

by Christa Fletcher

Giddy-up buckaroo, there’s a new way to ride the friendly skies — on a saddle seat. That’s right, some U.S. airlines are interested in implementing a class of seats with less leg room in a new seat design resembling a saddle. The saddles seat — or the SkyRider — would allow airlines to corral more passengers into planes for less expensive tickets.

Invented by the Italian firm, Aviointeriors, SkyRiders debuted this week at the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas in Long Beach, California. These “ultra-high density” saddles seats will reduce the distance between seats by seven to 10 inches. Yet, some are skeptical given the lack of personal space for passengers in already cramped quarters for long periods of time. Others argue that cowboys sat in saddles for hours on end, why not model a seat for prolonged use after that long-sitting tradition?

Incorporating a less expensive (and more crowded) class of passengers is becoming a trend among foreign budget airlines like Ryanair and Spring Air in China with standing-room-only sections. Would saddling up, be an improvement? Mosey on over to the poll and tell us if you think saddle seats are on target, or should stay back in the Wild West.

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