New "Skyrider" seats could lower ticket prices by saving space - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

New "Skyrider" airplane seats could lower ticket prices by saving space

(NBC) - If you think airplane seats can't get any smaller, you would be wrong. A company called Avioninteriors is looking to sell its new Skyrider seating system that features saddle-style seats.

The new configuration reduces the space between seats from 32 inches to just 23 inches. That means more passengers on planes and more cramped flights. However, it could also mean lower ticket prices for passengers.

Kenny Channel is 6-foot-1 and weighs 230 pounds. "It was uncomfortable to me," he said after trying out one of the seats. "I couldn't fly two hours in that. It's just like being on a horse."

On the other end of the scale is tiny 100 pound, five foot tall Yamilka Limia. She liked the seats. "It may be a little bit hard to ride in them, but for me it's perfect," she said.

The Skyriders are meant for flights of two hours or less. They weigh less than half of standard economy seats. Passengers rest on a saddle, not fully sitting, not quite standing.

"We're trying to bring a new viable and sustainable solution for the airline industry," explains Avioninteriors' Fredrik Meloni. "Reducing the fare of airline tickets and allowing other people to travel on the plane, not just for pleasure, we're talking about business and every single day."

The Skyrider system can be configured three rows deep. So far not a single airline has signed up for the Skyrider.

The FAA still needs to determine if the seats meet their safety standards.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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