Serious question: Would you sit in the infamous middle seat if you had the chance to play a pre-release xbox game? (Gaming not your thing? Go ahead and substitue that perk with anything that would actually overshadow the seat's lack of leg and personal space.) Seattle-based design firm Teague thinks the answer to rebranding the reputation of the middle seat is by turning it into an exclusive experience. So many times the passenger stuck in the spot also paid more for the smaller space, given that the least-appealing spots are leftover for last-minute purchases. The firm's thought is that by offering something extra along with the seat, flyers may actually prefer the spot to other more appealing locations on the airplane.
The design firm shared a few industry-changing ideas with Fast Co.Design, but their take on the middle seat seemed like the biggest opportunity for flyers and brands alike. Just imagine: Arriving at your seat, head hung low in anticipation for the lack of leg room you're soon to succumb to. But, wait! There's a mysterious box full of goodies waiting for you and all of the other middle sitters. it's enough to turn your flight experience right around. Retail discounts, movie screenings, product samples—what would it take to for you to voluntarily nestle yourself between two strangers 30,000 feet in the air for hours on end?
Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.