Finding ways to make basic airplane seats comfortable is the holy grail of travel design. And it’s as elusive. But Airbus has just filed a patent that might take us one step closer… or not. We’ll let you decide.
The patent is for a luggage storage compartment that lives under airplane seat cushions. The innovation is intended to give passengers more leg room, since the space at their feet would no longer be taken up by their backpacks, purses, and briefcases. This sounds nice in theory but unfortunately, we feel obligated to point out a few flaws in the design logic.
For one thing, you’d have to stand up and move aside in order to access the under-butt compartment bag - and we all know there’s no room to do that. (Though a recent bill proposed in Congress might change that by requiring seat-size minimums).
For another: Wouldn’t the foot space supposedly freed up by these seat lockers now be taken up by the…seat lockers? It sure looks like that in the sketches.
We don’t mean to be such negative nellies here - it’s great to see the air travel industry brainstorming ways to innovate. We’ve been impressed by proposals like an adjustable plane seat that rolls forward and back on wheels, and a suggestion for making middle seats more desirable by letting companies sponsor them and give away free gift boxes. Airbus itself keeps throwing ideas in the ring; like its “sleeping boxes” for coach-class passengers (though that one is dubious as well).
The storage compartment would supposedly free up space for the feet of the person behind — but it still takes up quite a bit of that real estate. Photo: PatentScope
Whether this patent evolves into a real inflight storage solution remains to be seen; but even if we do get butt boxes in the future, it won’t alleviate the other problem coach class fliers face: the battle for overhead bin space. These under-seat storage lockers won’t fit carry-on suitcases.
This article originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.