““[Bill Gates] has been historically one of my best supporters…One of my favorite e-mails he ever sent me…I proposed this crazy project. And he sent back this two-line response: ‘This has got to be the craziest thing you’ve ever suggested. Please proceed.’” ”
Sit Down For This News
Need another reason to keep flying privately? Consider the SkyRider ultra-high-density seat, which Italy-based Aviointeriors has developed for airline use. The 23-inch-pitch seat looks like a cross between a miniature horse saddle and a thinly sliced seatback. It doesn't recline, and not only is the pitch so small that passengers' knees are forced into constant contact with the seat in front, but elbow room is nonexistent as well. The saddle seating itself isn't entirely uncomfortable, although it does feel strange not to be able to lean back even a bit and to have all weight on the posterior instead of distributed between the back and thighs. There's no room to crack open a laptop or unfold a newspaper-indeed a big-bellied person wouldn't even be able to lower the seat-tray-though the seatbacks do have space for an entertainment system display.
Overall, the seats seem less suited to passengers' bottoms than to airlines' bottom lines. They weigh less than half as much as normal economy-class seats and would allow carriers to fit in 14-percent more passengers. "Airlines are searching for solutions," said Fredrik Meloni, Asia regional manager for Aviointeriors. "This does make a huge impact on revenue."