‘Exam Dividers’ – A Safer Way to Fly?

Covid-19 has grounded nearly every commercial flights in the world. Airlines are toying with ideas from mandatory donning face masks, to banning middle seats. Two designers, Avio and Factory Design, have come up with new seat configurations that they say will make air travel less frightening in the next few months but the designs remind me of the time when I was sitting for my high school examination.

Avio Interiors

Italy’s Avio Interiors has two ideas for new seats. The first is called the “Janus” seat, which has a rear-facing seat between two forward-facing seats, so there is social distance between the passengers. The second idea is a more conventional layout with plastic shields between the three forward-facing seats.

UK-based Factory Design’s Isolate Kit retrofits to the table of the center seat, while adding a shield between the two passengers. “A number of airlines have announced they are planning to block out the middle seat to support the social distancing strategies,” Peter Tennent, director of Factory Design told Robb Report. “We felt this was an opportunity to provide the passenger with added functionality and increased confidence to fly again.”

Protective dividers in middle seats could be a way to enforce social distancing and give some protection to passengers, say two European designers. – Factory Design

Avio Interiors says its new seating is designed for the wellbeing of passengers. “We want to continue our activities to secure a future by protecting and safeguarding everyone who wants or will have to travel,” the company said in a statement.

Tennent mentions that the reduction of passenger loads will free-up opportunities to adapt the existing cabins to address this new normal in the short to medium term which he says that Airlines will need to redesign cabins to reassure customers that their health is protected.

The Glass Safe concept is designed for coach seating on short-haul flights. – Avio Interiors

Now with this sort of new sitting arrangement, the question beckons – wouldn’t you feel more claustrophobic than before and do they really work better than just simply wearing a face mask?

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