FlyersRights checks out the largest trade fair for aircraft interiors, and reports on the fools of the trade.
April 7, 2017
FlyersRights was at the Aircraft Interiors Expo 2017 in Hamburg this week, taking a look at the latest interiors of aviation.
The products at the trade show were all about boosting airline revenue, via seat density, automating in-flight service (beware, cabin crew!) and keeping passengers entertained.
But, we couldn't help but be impressed by all the groundbreaking work done on new ways to squeeze passengers physically and financially!
We also heard frequently from vendors that a seat pitch of 28 inches actually "feels like 30 inches" due to the way the "seats are designed to conform to the human body" - presumably to normalize the airline industry's tightest and worst pitch.
Are they going to pay people to take the middle seat? Airbus is turning the A380 into a massive people mover by squeezing posteriors in tighter. The aircraft manufacturer showcased a mockup of its new 11-across seating. High density was a big theme at the expo, where Airbus was pushing its 11-across economy-class configuration - previously it was 10 seats per row.
10-across was the density that met FAA evacuation standards for the A380. Now there will be 11-across for airlines that chose that layout.
The robotic waiter and trash collector made by Altran Technologies operates at the AIX in Hamburg. Tired of losing the beverage-cart lottery? Paris-based Altran has invented a robotic waiter that takes your drink and snack order in advance and rolls it up to your row. The self-driving trolley also collects garbage at the end of the flight. which leaves more time for human attendants to focus on important issues like clothing violations. However, the robot lacks arms, so the job of passing hot coffee to window-seat passengers will be outsourced to the unlucky aisle-seat occupants.
(Click image for video from Expo) The Side Slip economy seat is scheduled to be flying by the end of this year. The aisle seat slides across to speed up boarding. Space Maker Sliding seats are the way of the future -says the manufacturer, Molon Labe Designs. Its pitch for reconfiguring cabins includes an aisle seat that slides over the middle seat to widen the corridor during boarding. The Denver-based startup also says its middle seats are the industry's widest at 21 inches and they're positioned farther back and slightly lower than its neighbor seats on the aisle and window, creating fewer armrest battles. Molon Labe Designs promotional video.
(FlyersRights proofreader, Dan P's interpretation below:)
Speeds up boarding? Sure. Window seats board first, followed by the skinny aliens in the middle seats, then aisle seats last?
The aviation industry has doubled-down on the search for in-cabin contraptions to lure passengers and increase revenue streams. Notice the contactless payment reader built into the seat. (photo: Kevin@EconomyBeyond)
(Click image for video.) The GermFalcon sanitization is a robot with arms that rolls down the aisle zapping ultraviolet light across the cabin to sanitize armrests, tray tables and seats - presumably without the passengers board. The company says airplanes are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria and there are no regulations or cleanliness standards for passenger cabins. The device can destroy bacteria and viruses on 54 seats in 1 minute. There's already so much radiation at airports and in planes, who is going to be bothered by a few rays more?
Window Shopping - You've got your window seat and nestled into your travel pillow. Now for a relaxing view of, um, stock prices and shopping websites. Vision Systems, based in Lyon, France, wants airlines to turn their windows into pane-shaped infotainment screens that passengers can swipe through to see flight details, order drinks and, of course - buy stuff. Airlines are looking for new ways to boost on-board advertising revenue, the manufacturer says. If you want to turn off, the screens can be 'dimmed' so you can see the clouds through tinted glass.
Behold, the "Flex Seat". It allows cabin crew to slide rows on a track and adjust the seat pitch by lifting a lever beneath the cushion. This offers changeability in seating layout so airlines can maximize bookings, and fees for more legroom. Demo video here from the trade show.
Virtual reality by AIM Altitude. Remember when entertainment was a drop-down screen with a moving map display?
This overhead bin by ZodiacAerospace lights green when there is space for more bags.
(Yep, plenty of room left here for a thin envelope, folks.)
The FlyersRights® Insider
This week's travel-related information tips and suggestions for our readers and members.
We are commited to solutions for promoting airline passenger policies that forward first and foremost the safety of all passengers while not imposing unrealistic economic burdens that adversely affect airline profitability or create exhorbitant ticket price increases.
All American air carriers shall abide by the following standards to ensure the safety, security and comfort of their passengers:
Establish procedures to respond to all passenger complaints within 24 hours and with appropriate resolution within 2 weeks.
Notify passengers within ten minutes of a delay of known diversions, delays and cancellations via airport overhead announcement, on aircraft announcement, and posting on airport television monitors.
Establish procedures for returning passengers to terminal gate when delays occur so that no plane sits on the tarmac for longer than three hours without connecting to a gate.
Provide for the essential needs of passengers during air- or ground-based delays of longer than 3 hours, including food, water, sanitary facilities, and access to medical attention.
Provide for the needs of disabled, elderly and special needs passengers by establishing procedures for assisting with the moving and retrieving of baggage, and the moving of passengers from one area of airport to another at all times by airline personnel.
Publish and update monthly on the company’s public web site a list of chronically delayed flights, meaning those flight delayed thirty minutes or more, at least forty percent of the time, during a single month.
Compensate “bumped” passengers or passengers delayed due to flight cancellations or postponements of over 12 hours by refund of 150% of ticket price.
The formal implementation of a Passenger Review Committee, made up of non-airline executives and employees but rather passengers and consumers – that would have the formal ability to review and investigate complaints.
Make lowest fare information, schedules and itineraries, cancellation policies and frequent flyer program requirements available in an easily accessed location and updated in real-time.
Ensure that baggage is handled without delay or injury; if baggage is lost or misplaced, the airline shall notify customer of baggage status within 12 hours and provide compensation equal to current market value of baggage and its contents.
Require that these rights apply equally to all airline code-share partners including international partners.