There is one aspect about Boeing's concept for the 7E7 cabin layout which seems to have been overlooked: Boeing's idea to "connect people with flying", may seem desirable to aviation professionals and is probably why the idea has passed review boards and customer feedback groups, which are composed of aviation professionals. However, we should keep in mind that a significant share of passengers (estimated at 20-30%) is afraid of flying and fly only because their job or circumstances force them to do so.

I am no psychologist, but my impression from watching fellow travellers is that people suffering fear tend to take window seats because these best permit them to create a protected space, modelled according to their phobia. Those afraid of heights draw down the window shades to blank out any visual impression of being in the sky. Claustrophobics open them as much as possible and stare outside to combat the feeling of being in a narrow enclosed space. Boeing's idea of taking away this control from the passenger and giving it to the cabin crew might thus be a perfect way of creating a maximum of unnecessary conflicts between the crew and passengers.

Dr Alexander Zschocke Etzelweg, Germany

Source: Flight International