106 Years After the First Airline Formed, a Company Has Finally Made the Middle Seat Halfway-Pleasant
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106 Years After the First Airline Formed, a Company Has Finally Made the Middle Seat Halfway-Pleasant

Middle Seat Airplane Design
Marisa Garcia
Middle Seat Airplane Design
Marisa Garcia

If Thompson Aero Seating has its way, the days of cramming into the middle seat, engaging in the passive-aggressive skirmish for the armrests, will be long gone. The Northern Ireland seating manufacturer has transformed the infamous center seat into the prime place to park yourself for the duration of your flight, thanks to its staggered Cozy Suite design.

The design detail making the middle seat worth fighting over: an extra headrest. Soft headrests on each side of the chair allow the middle passenger to nap without the awkward chance of dozing onto a stranger’s shoulder. All chairs feature a retractable seat, allowing more space to slide by your neighbors without creating traffic in the aisle. Mix that with the chair’s hardback design—meaning you won’t be awoken with every sharp kick to the back of your seat—and a forward-sliding recline action that won’t invade anyone else’s space and you’ve got yourself an equation for a restful flight.

If productivity is your prerogative, the tray table has also been updated for better usability. The design allows it to fold twice, meaning you can use half of it for when you need a smaller workspace and the full tray when you’re looking to enjoy an in-flight meal or get some actual work done (hopefully airplane Wi-Fi connections will soon be able to keep up with our workloads).

There’s an upside for the airlines, as well. These design tweaks make room for additional seats in the plane cabins. Sounds like a win all around.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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