Last updated: 03:00 PM ET, Tue September 15 2015

How A Revolutionary Design Could Redeem The Middle Seat

Features & Advice | Patrick Clarke | September 15, 2015

How A Revolutionary Design Could Redeem The Middle Seat

Photo via YouTube

There are effectively zero redeeming qualities to the middle seat on an airplane. Sure, it beats standing and it comes with a seatbelt. But if only it was slightly more comfortable.

But Denver-based firm Molon Labe Designs is determined to change the middle seat as we know it.

The company's new design concept may be far from becoming reality, but it will undoubtedly generate hope among weary air travelers.

The Side-Slip Seat rewards middle seat passengers with two extra inches of space and, perhaps more importantly, their own pair of armrests.

But while the design is a welcome one for middle seat flyers, its primary purpose is to save airlines' fuel and money by decreasing disembarking times via allowing the aisle seats to slide over top of the middle seats, which in turn makes the aisle wider and allows more traffic to pass through.

A one-minute video produced by Molon Labe Designs shows how the Side-Slip Seat works.

With an additional 22 inches of width to work with in the aisle, the revolutionary design could potentially reduce the time it takes passengers to deplane by as much as 33 percent.

Citing Airlines for America, Time reported every wasted minute on the runway costs airlines more than $80 and roughly $100 when including margin. 

While it remains to be seen whether the concept will come to fruition, Molon Labe Designs' video description says to expect to see the Side-Slip Seat flying by next summer. 

In the meantime, frequent fliers will have to keep their fingers crossed. 

Perhaps surprisingly, ultra low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines is leading the fight against middle seat discomfort, announcing plans to add an extra inch of width to its middle seats earlier this summer.

The Denver-based carrier claims the 19-inch-wide middle seats are the widest among U.S. carriers. "This will make sitting in the middle seat a little less uncomfortable," said Frontier's chief commercial officer Daniel Shurz back in July. 

Keep in mind that middle seats attached to the Side-Slip Seat design would span a full inch wider than Frontier's industry-leading middle seats. 


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.