Whether you're an aisle person or a window person, we can all agree on one basic truth of air travel: the middle seat sucks a big fat one, even if you're not stuck between two sweaty behemoths on a seven-hour flight. A new seat design concept is set to change all that, though, turning the middle seat from an unwanted zero into a desirable spot on par with its more traditionally sexy brethren.
Developed by Molon Labe Designs, the Side Slip Seat features a staggered configuration that puts the middle seat slightly lower than the aisle and window seats, which allows it to be a full 2" wider than the other two (20" vs 18"). Considering the average seat width these days is 17", that's actually a substantial upgrade for everyone involved.
It's not just about a wider middle seat, though: the new configuration's also designed to make boarding the plane easier as well -- by actually widening the aisle itself, from 19" to 41". Molon Labe Designs predicts a 28% increase in boarding efficiency thanks to this Transformers-esque innovation, and we're all for it.
Granted, the Side Slip Seats don't look insanely comfortable, and there's only so much padding you can include when you're stacking airplane seats like plastic chairs at a backyard barbecue, but personal space and boarding speed are huge sticking points for air travelers. Who isn't willing to sacrifice bounciness for a faster takeoff and some added rump room?
Given what we know about airlines, though, they'll probably implement this for exactly the wrong reason: as a way to cram even more of us onto the flight.
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Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and he’s ALWAYS in the middle seat. Follow his crushed tweets @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org