If you judged an invention by early media reviews of its patent, then Zodiac Seats France’s “Economy Class Cabin Hexagon” seating pattern is dead on arrival.
Just a few headlines:
“Hey Look the Most Nightmarish Idea for Plane Seating Ever” (Wired)
“‘Economy Class Cabin Hexagon’ is every flyer’s worst nightmare” (Fortune)
“Evil plane seat design would ruin whatever good remains of air travel” (The Verge)
So what’s the big deal? Under the details of the patent, Zodiac Seats France, which makes accessories for aircraft, would arranges passengers on a plane in a hexagon pattern with the middle seat facing backwards. Of course, all of this would result in the ability to put more people on a plane. The Verge explains:
“Basically, the idea is to take the middle seat — already the worst seat on a flight — and turn it around 180 degrees so as to maximize space.
“You may notice that, with this configuration, your in-flight infotainment screen will be supplemented with persistent eye contact from your neighbors. Please also note where hands rest…”
We’ll let you judge for yourself. Here are some drawings from the patent application: