Redesigning the Middle Seat

by Allie Moore

Sep 9, 2019

© Pavlo Vakhrushev | Dreamstime

Trends / Top Trends

No one (or nearly no one) likes sitting in the middle seat on a plane. Not only is there the constant debate over which armrest belongs to which passenger, but you also have no control over what your fellow passengers may do when they’re asleep. Start-up company Molon Labe Seating is working on a new seat design with hopes to improve the experience of sitting (or being stuck) in the middle seat.


Known as the S1 design, the row of three economy seats is arranged with the seats staggered, where the middle seat is positioned slightly behind and below the other two seats. Moving the middle seat back adds a few inches of extra space, allowing the occupant extra shoulder room, with a base width three to five inches wider than the standard width of 18 inches.


The armrests on the S1 seat vary in height: the front part of the rest is raised slightly higher and in line with passengers in the window and aisle seats while the back part of the armrest is lower, catering to the passenger in the lower middle seat.


These new seats were certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in June and could be implemented in short-haul aircraft by spring 2020. Two airlines signed on to install the seats, but the airlines will not be revealed until a later date.



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