This Invention Could Make Your Flight Even More Like Bus Ride

What's Hot


Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

7 Foods That Can Lengthen Your LifeFamily

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

7 Government Freebies You Can Get TodayFamily

Bench seating as envisioned in a patent application would help manage a range of passenger sizes, but it raises the potential for awkward situations and ticketing issues.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that airplane manufacturer Airbus is devising new ways to make your next flight uncomfortable.

A filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office indicates that the company is exploring the idea of passenger bench seating for their planes, apparently to accommodate people of different sizes more efficiently. (Or, maybe we didn’t get enough of bench seating in our Buicks in the 1970’s?)

As designed, the seat would have a single surface for the seat, and another for the back. Fold-out armrests are embedded in the seat back. The seat portion would have up to four seat belts. In illustrations accompanying the filing, it shows how the bench could be configured differently to accommodate different numbers of people depending on their size. It envisions a bench seating two large people with an armrest between them, three average-sized adults with armrests between them, or two adults with two children sitting in between them. (Kind of creepy-looking children, too, if the illustration is a guide.)

The design raises all kinds of questions and potential for awkward moments. While it might allow for more comfort for plus-sized people, how would it work when buying tickets? Would you be required to give your waist size and/or shoulder width? Would they have a gate agent standing by with a tape measure assigning people to seats? Would you need to pay extra if you’re on a two-person bench?

And, what happens if one passenger on the bench wants to recline and another doesn’t?

This is just a patent filing, and the airplane industry, like many others, often files for patents that never see the light of day. So maybe don’t worry just yet, but perhaps keep this in mind the next time you complain about your flight — it could be worse!

What’s your most recent experience with flying? Do you think there could be advantages to bench seating? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Looking for Affordable Spring Break Sunshine? Try Palm Springs

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,787 more deals!