Imagine flying in an airplane with all the usual amenities. Nothing different? Now, add double-decker seats to it. This imagination might become a reality, or at least, 23-year-old airplane seat designer Alejandro Núñez Vicente believes so.
Vicente released the Chaise Longue Airplane Seat prototype in 2022. The concept went viral, leading to debates, discussions and a variety of reactions from the audience. In 2023, Vicente has released a newer, better version of the double-decker plane seats. These are currently on display at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany.
All you need to know about the double-decker plane seats
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Talking to CNN Travel, Vicente says, “To be honest, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. People can talk and they always hate innovation in some ways.” He adds, “Most of the times when they show you something new, everyone hates it at first, they’re scared of change. But the more you show it, and the more you develop it, and the more they see it, the more they get used to it.”
The double-decker plane seats started out as a college project in 2021. It was nominated for the 2021 Crystal Cabin Awards, among the top honours in the aviation industry, which brought it into the limelight. It was then that Vicente decided to invest more time, effort and money into this project.
Talking about the actual seats, Vicente says he isn’t aiming at cramming aircraft further with seats, nor is he trying to remove regular seating altogether. His design includes a Chaise Longue in the centre, flanked by two rows of regular seating. Vicente has sponsors and partnerships in place, that are helping him fund this design.
Reports add that the double-decker design has two slanted layers of seating, diagonally on top of one another. With this, the need for overhead luggage compartments also gets eradicated, as bags can be stored between the two rows.
Vicente knows that this design may not appeal to everyone, but at 6 ft 2 inches, he says he has first-hand experience of spending time in a cramped flight. Thus, the Chaise Longue design aims at solving the problems he and several others have faced as flyers. However, for companies, the increased seating is what’s attracting them when it comes to the double-decker plane seats’ design.
“Many airlines and many big players of the industry are trying to push us to put more passengers into the aircraft. It’s not our main priority and our main goal, but with this kind of design it’s also possible,” he said.
(Hero and Featured Image credit: @alex.nvb/Instagram)