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The new seating solution on airplanes could put an end to legroom

The new seating solution on airplanes could put an end to legroom

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from: Francesca Kendl

An airplane seat manufacturer has found a solution to create more space for passengers on the plane. For some, that may also mean less legroom.

Currently, passengers with emergency exit seats have more legroom than anywhere else on the plane. This is related to the requirements of the regulatory authorities EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) – they state that the passage to emergency exits must be at least 13 inches (33.02 cm) wide. Airplane seat manufacturer Recaro has now found a way to maintain that distance while creating more seats on the plane. Which for passengers in Economy Class means: no more legroom.

Soon less legroom at emergency exits in economy class?

The new seat design provides a row of foldable seats in the exit area above the wings in the “exit row”. The passenger must fold the seat in order for it to snap into place. When you get up, it should automatically fold up again.

Let’s see: the X-Tend’s fold-down seat. © RECARO Aircraft Seating

In an emergency, the specified lane width can still be achieved and at the same time the number of passengers has increased from 190 to 194, the manufacturer explains in a press release. The so-called “X-Tend” is easy to use and, despite the option to fold, provides a “first-class seating experience.” The new seating solution is for the A320 family.

View from above of the aircraft's footwell.
It can be very tight at times in the foot of the plane. (iconic image) © Bernd Feil / Imago

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d said. Mark Heller, CEO of Recaro, on the concept. The seat design will improve cabin space and is in line with airlines’ sustainability goals because it can effectively reduce the number of flights flown by the aircraft. It remains to be seen if passengers see it the same way. It is currently unknown if there is actually a customer for X-Tend.