Boeing Commercial Airplanes manager, media relations Jim Proulx read my standing-seats blog from yesterday and was kind enough to weigh in on the subject for my feature.
Here is Boeing’s on-record stance:
“We are not contemplating standing-only accommodations on Boeing jetliners, nor do we have any plans to do so. Among other things, stringent regulatory requirements – including seats capable of withstanding a force of 16g, would essentially preclude such an arrangement.”
For the record, here too is Airbus’ official comment on the matter, care of the company’s spokesman Martin Fendt:
“We do appreciate your interest, and stacked/standing seating is subject that does seem to crop up from time to time in the media, but I’m afraid that Airbus is not developing such an interior.”
This doesn’t close the book, of course, as interiors and seating experts try to find the right mousetrap – or the right trap? – to pass those 16g requirements, which formally go into effect in the USA in October, and are expected to go into effect in Europe next year, although many new aircraft have been delivered to this spec for years.
But Airbus might want to think again about stacked sleepers for its widebodies. Why? Because Malaysian low-cost, long-haul carrier AirAsia X says it is open to exploring stacked sleeper seats for its newly-ordered Airbus A350s!
“The timing of the requirements and specifications [that we will] have to lay down for those [A350] deliveries I think is going to coincide with further developments in the interiors market and give us the opportunity with that aircraft to explore some of these new options,” says Tim Claydon, a director and consultant for the carrier.
But back to stacked sleepers. What do these babies look like? We’ve taken a gander at MmilleniumM Group’s proposed Air Sleeper, which is largely targeted at the premium economy crowd (a growing crowd, BTW).
A competing product, known as the Airborne Hotel (Abh), made its mock-up debut this year at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. And the response was largely positive.
Click on the following documents for loads of detail about the Abh, care of inventor Carlos Martinez, and feedback from the show.
And then check out the pics below (can you see yourself lounging back and watching that big screen TV?).