Photo Credit: TN
Could Double-Decker Airplane Seats Be The Next Big Thing In Travel?
The future of air travel is changing and with it comes advancements for travelers. Who says flying economy has to be uncomfortable? Airplane seat designer Alejandro Núñez Vicente wants to change the industry with his Chaise Longue Airplane Seat concept aka double-decker airplane seats.
Núñez Vicente started as a 21-year-old college student last year and was nominated for a Crystal Cabin Award in 2021. He’s currently put his master’s degree on hold while focusing full time on his concept. The designer is shopping his idea around with seat manufacturing companies and major airlines. He took his talents to Hamburg, Germany to showcase his design at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX).
What started out as a project in his bedroom at his parent’s house, has become a huge opportunity to change the industry and how we travel.
“If you asked me before, I would have said maybe its just a university project. If you asked me now, after all the hard [work], after all the effort of many, many people — I would say that now is more of a reality. We see it as the future of the economy class,” says Núñez Vicente to CNN Travel at the 2022 AIX.
What would a double-decker seat look like?
There are concerns about sitting under other travelers during a double-decker flight. Núñez Vicente says, “I grow more from listening to the critics and listening to the bad comments, than from listening to the good comments and the flowers that they throw me.”
The top level of the prototype has two ladder-like steps for travelers to get to the top. CNN Travel reports that the top deck seats are roomy and comfortable. Instead of overhead cabins, there is space between both levels for travelers to store their luggage.
The bottom row of seats allows for travelers to stretch out their legs since there isn’t a seat directly in front. Travelers could feel claustrophobic since the upper deck is directly above the bottom row seat.
“My purpose here is the change the economy class seats for the better of humanity, or for all the people than cannot afford to pay for more expensive tickets,” says Núñez Vicente.
The double-decker could be installed in medium to large wide-body aircrafts such as a Boeing 747 and Airbus A330.
From concept to reality
it becoming a reality can be long. There are many rules and regulations along the way. Economy seats haven’t drastically changed in decades although there have been other progressive concepts by designers.
“One of the phrases I get a lot, is ‘If it’s not broken, why change it?” says Núñez Vicente to CNN Travel. “So if passengers still fly in the worst economy class seats, why are we going to give them a better option? It makes money. That’s the goal of the airline at the end of the day,not to make your flight better.”
Núñez Vicente is hoping to partner with an airline or seat manufacturer to bring the double-decker seat concept to market. “Right now, we’re showing the market what we have. And we’re letting the market come and tell us what we need to do next,” he says.