Airplanes could get even more cramped with a new seat design from Airbus that has passengers seated on top of each other in a bi-level configuration.
Earlier this month, the global airline manufacturer filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a split level seating design that could be used in businesses cabins on wide body aircraft, news.com.au reports.
In rows where passengers are normally seated six across, the middle rows would alternate between floor level and elevated seating to fit an additional two passengers per row. The raised seats would be accessible by a stair or ladder and would be able to fully recline above the passengers seated below.
The new design will maximize seating capacity on planes that have yet to reach their full potential, according to the plane manufacturer.
“In modern means of transport, in particular in aircraft, it is very important from an economic point of view to make optimum use of the available space in a passenger cabin,” Airbus wrote in the patent application.
“In order to still more efficiently use the space in a passenger cabin of an aircraft, [the patent] proposes to position an elevated deck structure on a main deck floor in the passenger cabin of a wide-body aircraft for providing a mezzanine seating area in a substantially unused upper lobe of the aircraft fuselage.”