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We know that the crew seats in an airplane are "jump seats (foldable)", which made me wonder why it isn't the same case with passenger seats.

Some advantages which I see if passenger seats are converted to the "jump seat" design:

  • Better access and thus easier cleaning of the aircraft
  • Easy entry exit by passengers
  • Already available tech (as in the crew jump seats)
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    $\begingroup$ Heavier weight, more expensive, more maintenance... You'll also notice crew jump seats are attached to a bulkhead (wall) not free standing. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Sep 3 '17 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ Jump seats - as in crew foldable seats - are designed to give back space when they're not used. The cost is they are expensive and less comfortable. Making them standard for passenger seats is completely impractical from a cost and design perspective, and as Ron Beyer says, they are attached to a bulkhead: impossible for passenger seats except those up on the bulkhead itself. $\endgroup$ – Pete855217 Mar 29 at 15:23
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enter image description here

You're in luck. Airbus has filed a patent for that. (Not a joke.)

Airbus said the design was a response to recent demands from low-cost airlines to cram more seating into existing plane interiors – often to the detriment of passenger comfort.

Just when I thought the below can't get any worse.

enter image description here
(Original, sardine edit by @TomMcW)


There is also this concept:

enter image description here

Although the patent has been filed, whether or not the seats will become popular depends on whether or not airlines want to pick up the design.

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    $\begingroup$ The good news is that this awful design has oodles of safety issues $\endgroup$ – Dan Sep 3 '17 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ My favorite is the vertical stacked followed by the alternating front-back (which I can't find right now) $\endgroup$ – Bageletas Sep 3 '17 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ Next they'll be installing straps or handrails so you can stand in the aisle like on a bus $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Sep 3 '17 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ @TOmMcW: Ryanair tried something similar $\endgroup$ – sweber Sep 3 '17 at 18:04
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    $\begingroup$ Don't forget these strange seat design configurations are also likely to slow down evacuation times. With most aircraft at the limit anyway, anything that impacts fast egress will not get past the regulators. Remember this concept (aircraft design that supports fast passenger egress - within 90 seconds) has been a well-known hold up factor for certification of various recent aircraft types. $\endgroup$ – Pete855217 Mar 29 at 15:29

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