Here’s How it Feels to Fly on a Double-decker Airplane Seat
Traveling economy for longer durations is usually tolerated instead of being relished, but one college student believes his design could transform the way we travel.
Alejandro Núñez Vicente, the then 21-year-old college student, put forth the airplane seat design idea as part of a college assignment. His double decker Airplane seat design was selected in the 2021 Crystal Cabin Awards — the highest award in the aviation industry, followed by design becoming the center of online attention.
Since then, the innovative airplane seat design by the young entrepreneur has taken the aviation industry by storm. Currently, Núñez Vicente has put his education on hold to focus on his innovative design. The young entrepreneur is holding meetings with notable airlines and seat manufacturers. Also, he’s been granted massive investments to develop the project further.
While some are in awe of Núñez Vicente’s innovative airplane seat design, others draw back, showing concern about claustrophobia.
“I grow more from listening to the critics and listening to the bad comments than from listening to the good comments and the flowers that they throw me,” says the young entrepreneur while speaking to CNN Travel while displaying his masterpiece at an Expo in Hamburg, Germany.
The innovative airplane seat aims to facilitate the everyday traveler. Hence he is eager to know what the travelers have to say about it, good or bad.
“My purpose here is to change the economy class seats for the better of humanity, or for all the people that cannot afford to pay for more expensive tickets,” Núñez Vicente says.
Trying out the Concept
The prototype is designed by Nunez Vicente with two ladder-like steps leading to the upper portion. It’s a bit dangerous, but the seat feels spacious and comfy once you are there. The prototype seats are immovable, but they are positioned in a way to signal how they could recline. His design has removed the overhead compartment. Instead, there is an area between the upper and lower portion for stowing luggage.
The Chaise Longue seat is a novel idea for the world of Aviation. The design could become a reality, but the rigorous rules and requirements can hinder the process.
Núñez Vicente is working with industry experts and seat manufacturers to develop a more convenient and lighter structure.
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It is not surprising that airlines are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, because not too many people are traveling. What may surprise people though is that some airlines have retired certain aircrafts permanently. While we do not know what this will mean for future flights, we can share which aircrafts have been grounded permanently.
What Aircrafts are No Longer in Service After the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID 19 Fallout
Delta Airlines was not supposed to retire its MD-88s and MD-90s until a much later date, but they are now exiting by the beginning of June. By the end of this year, all their Boeing 777-200s, of which there are eighteen of, will be retired. This is how big the Covid 19 fallout.
American Airlines was planning on retiring many different aircrafts by the end of this year, but they are moving up their timeline now. The aircrafts they are retiring include all their Embraer E190s, Boeing 757s, Boeing 767s, Airbus 330-300s, and Bombardier CRJ200s.
Singapore Airlines will be retiring all their B777-200/ER aircrafts. While some of them are in Alice Springs, NT, Australia right now, they will be moved to their final destination once it is safe.
Austrian Airlines is starting to retire some of its fleet. They are starting with all their A319s, as well as three of the six of their B767-300s. In 2022, the rest of this airline’s Dash 8 fleet will be retired.
Air Transat was not supposed to retire its last A310 until its last scheduled flight at the end of April. However, COVID-19 wreaked havoc on those plans and caused this airline to retire it early.
Air Canada is currently retiring seventy-nine of its aircraft. The retired aircrafts include Boeing 767s, Airbus 319s, and the Embraer 190s.
The IAG Group will be focusing on the possibility of retiring their BA B747s and their A340s early. No final decision has been made, but the prospects of keeping them up in the air are slim.
Virgin Atlantic Airlines recently announced that they will be retiring all their B747-400s and A330-200s. They also retired their last A340-600 at the end of March.
The A380s of Air France are no longer in service. These aircraft have been slowly retired since the beginning of January, but the speed has been ramping up with the current circumstances.
KLM recently retired all their Boeing 747-400s, which was a year earlier than planned. There are still three of these aircraft in flight, but they are only being used to transport cargo over to Shanghai.
Lufthansa is planning to use less aircraft in the near future and that is why they have been retiring many different aircrafts. Their Airbus A320s are being phased out, as are some of their Airbus A380s, Boeing 747-400s, and Airbus 340-300s. Some of these may end up returning in the future, but for now they are listed on the retired list.
There will be fewer aircraft in the sky once travel fully resumes after COVID-19 and it is unknown how long that will be the case. However, we do know that these aircrafts will be retired, and that new aircraft will be needed if, and when, these airlines determine they need more planes in the sky.
Anyone that flies regularly knows that there is a huge difference in airline seats and that it is worthwhile to spend a few extra dollars with the right airlines to be comfortable through an entire flight. They also know that they have been taken advantage of a few times and had some of the worst seats available, even though they paid extra for a premium seat.
An airline’s seat will vary depending on the aircraft and where it is located on the plane, and frequent flyers know which ones are the best and which ones are the worst.
New American Flag-ship First Class
The first-class cabin on the 777-300ER only has eight seats, so you would think that a person would have a lot of privacy. Unfortunately, this is not the case, but passengers do have the option of turning their seat to face the window. While this option is the most spacious, we rank it second due to the lack of privacy.
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond
These comfortable seats can be found on Boeing 787-9 and 777-200, just not every one, so it can be a gamble when choosing – be sure to check Seatguru for help understanding what configuration your flight will have. What they offer in comfort and privacy is slightly negated by the fixed IFE monitor that makes it extremely difficult to watch a movie while fully reclined and can make some feel.
Reverse Herringbone international business class
The reverse herringbone might be the best seat that American Airlines offers, and passengers can find it within business class on the 777-300 and first class on some configurations of the Airbus 321. The seats are comfortable whether a person is using them for sitting or have them opened completely flat for sleeping. There’s some personal storage available and a decent amount of privacy for anyone who is traveling alone.
Old Flagship first class – Boeing 777-300
These old first-class seats are going to be difficult to find shortly, as American Airlines is phasing them out, and that is a good thing. While they did offer access to the aisle from any seat, we found they lack privacy. That said, they certainly provided an excellent night’s sleep.
767-300 New Business Class
All passengers sitting in this section will have access to the aisle and their seats will fully recline, but when they do the seats are quite close to the floor. The storage space and two outlets are nice features, but the missing entertainment system is an issue. Passengers do receive a tablet for overseas flights, but not for domestic flights.
Zodiac Business Class
These seats can be found on 777-200 and 787-8 aircrafts and they are set up in a 1-2-1 configuration with the inner two seats facing the opposite way of the other two. This gives passengers quite a bit of privacy, but the seats are very narrow.
Premium economy is one of the newer seats within American Airlines and it is on the 787-9. The seats are very wide and offer great foot support. The televisions pivot for optimal viewing and there is an outlet and USB port for everyone’s charging needs. Need a comparison? It’s much like flying internationally in a domestic first-class seat. While it’s still not a lie-flat option, it sure beats coach!
New Domestic First Class
These new first-class seats leave a lot to be desired and no one will want to be in them for any length of time. The seats do not recline enough and there is no leg support of any kind. A few of the seats have IFE entertainment screens, but most do not. Thankfully these are only on domestic routes, so everyone can manage for a few hours.
There are plenty of exceptional seating options available when flying with American Airlines, which is great news for passengers. Everyone will want to make sure that they know their options when flying and try to book their seats on an aircraft that has a configuration that works best for them.
Budget airlines are on every continent, but did you know that these airlines made their debut over in Europe? There are still more budget airlines in that part of the world over anywhere else. Their costs are significantly cheaper than regular airlines in Europe, which is quite different than the small savings you will see in the US or on other continents.
Most budget airlines place bulk orders when they order new airplanes, because that allows them to save a lot of money since they are getting such a steep discount. While these airlines could purchase older planes, they see a bigger savings with the new ones, due to the fuel efficiency and fewer necessary repairs.
All the employees of these budget airlines only need to go through training for the one type of aircraft the company uses. Instead of ordering five of one type of plane, ten of another, and so forth, the company simply orders one kind and uses it for every flight they have. This saves a bunch of time and money.
The flight attendants perform multiple tasks including cleaning the plane and taking tickets at the gate. This means fewer employees are needed to get every job completed.
When you take a budget airline flight, you probably notice that they normally do not fly into the larger airports in Europe. This is due to the higher costs of flying into those areas, so they choose to fly into the cheaper airports that are a little further from your destination. They will fly to regular airports on occasion, but it will be at the least popular times.
All budget airlines have very little downtime in between flights, so they are making more money every day. Time in the air is more profitable than time spent on the ground. Connections are also not usually available with budget airlines, because they do not have the employees to transfer the bags.
Many regular airlines have tried to jump on the budget airline bandwagon but have failed. They simply do not have the number of planes required, or the number of destinations, to make a company like this work.
Over in Europe, Ryanair and EasyJet have smashed the competition with their budget airline model, making it quite difficult for anyone else to break through in that part of the world. Only time will tell if the budget airlines within the US, mainly Allegiant and Frontier, will be as successful one day or if they will fall prey to the budget airline curse.
Every time you take off on an airplane and reach your cruising altitude, your pilot comes on the overhead and tells you how high the plane is flying. But do you know why they tell you this?
Every airplane has a limit as to how high it can fly. These limits ensure that the aircraft you are flying in is operating at its maximum capacity. Most of the time, all aircraft are allowed to fly at heights of forty-two thousand feet. However, as a plane gets closer to an airport, the air control experts can tell the planes to adjust their altitudes.
- Airbus A380: 43,000 feet
- Boeing 787-8 and 9: 43,100 feet
- Boeing 787-10: 41,000 feet
- Boeing 737 (up to the 500): 37,000 feet
- Boeing 737 (600 and newer): 41,000 feet
Most aircraft will only fly around 35,000 feet, as they feel that that is a safe height. However, if you ever have the chance to fly on the Concorde, you will find that you are flying much higher at a maximum height of 60,000 feet. The Concorde can handle these heights, due to their engines and other intricate features.
The air is thinner at higher altitudes, so flying is more efficient the higher the airplane is in the sky. There is less resistance, so the plane can fly faster without using more fuel. All jet engines operate better at higher altitudes too. The reason for this is that these jet engines can be run closer to their maximum capabilities.
The height that an airplane is flown at is dependent on the current wind conditions. Most aircraft will want to take advantage of the Jetstream winds on occasion, while other times, it is something to be avoided.
There is a point where the air is too thin and that is why these ceiling heights are in place for each individual aircraft. When the air is too thin, the engines cannot create enough thrust and the wings don’t have sufficient lift. Also, if an engine fails, it can be quite difficult to start it again in too high of an altitude.
There are a few safety concerns when you are flying at too high of an altitude as well. When the cabin pressure is off, it will take more time to stabilize it in lower altitudes if the plane is higher than it should be. When the cabin loses pressure, a person can only remain conscious for between fifteen and thirty seconds at 35,000 feet. When an airplane is at heights of 50,000 feet, the timeframe drops to only five seconds.
Private jets have a little more leeway in the sky, and you may find that you are riding on corporate jets that can safely ride at heights of 51,000 feet. These jets usually have larger engines and that is why they can successfully ride at these heights.
Now that you know how high commercial passenger airplanes can fly, you will understand why the pilot is telling you the plane’s altitude during your next flight. While it won’t change much of your experience, at least you can compare each one of your flights to the others and see how the altitude changes can result in a smoother or more turbulent flight.
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