Uh Oh: Airbus A350 Going 10-Abreast In Economy

Uh Oh: Airbus A350 Going 10-Abreast In Economy

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The Airbus A350 is an incredible plane — it’s fuel efficient, ultra long range, and provides a great passenger experience. From a passenger experience standpoint, one major positive is that historically the plane has only had nine seats per row in economy on full service airlines, rather than 10. That will likely soon be changing, as reported by Flight Global.

Expect the Airbus A350 to get denser

Every full service airline operating the Airbus A350 currently has nine seats per row in economy, in a 3-3-3 configuration. While you could squeeze in 10 seats per row (as we’ve seen at airlines like French Bee), that’s really pushing it in terms of comfort based on the current cabin width.

Airbus is now preparing to introduce a new Airbus A350 interior configuration that will make it practical for all airlines to have 10 seats per row in economy. How is this possible? Well, aircraft fuselages are quite thick, so Airbus is slightly reshaping the cabin of the A350 so that the walls are pushed out a little bit, providing additional interior width.

Airbus claims that it can introduce 10-abreast seating “very comfortably,” without compromising seat width. On most full service airlines, this would translate to an additional 30 seats or so, since that’s roughly how many rows of economy you’ll find on many A350-1000s.

It’s expected that the first A350 with the expanded cabin will be entering service shortly, though it’s not yet known for which airline.

French Bee already has 10 seats per row in A350 economy

This doesn’t sound great for the passenger experience

As mentioned above, Airbus claims that it can add a seat in each row without decreasing the width of existing seats. I’m skeptical of that claim, and would like to bring a measuring tape when the first such plane is in service.

But even if that were possible, there’s still no denying that this will have a negative impact on the passenger experience:

  • I doubt we’ll see more lavatories installed, so the ratio of passengers to lavatories will get worse
  • With the current 3-3-3 layout, 67% of passengers get an aisle or window seat, while with a 3-4-3 layout, 60% of passengers get an aisle or window seat, so the ratio of people in non-middle seats gets worse
  • In general everything is less pleasant with a higher capacity plane, from how hectic boarding is, to how personalized service is

In fairness, though, it’s pretty impressive if you can add 30 seats to a plane with only minimal impacts on passenger comfort. Being able to carry more passengers lowers per passenger emissions and improves the economics of the jet, in theory allowing airlines to sell tickets for less.

Don’t expect nine-abreast seating in A350 economy to stick

Bottom line

Airbus is making some structural changes to the A350, which will allow the jet to more comfortably accommodate 10 people per row in economy. While some ultra low cost carriers have already done this, it came at the expense of seat width.

Airbus claims it can add another seat in each row without impacting seat width, by simply moving out the walls a little bit. I have to imagine this will become the standard sooner rather than later, since airlines will have a hard time saying no to increasing capacity by 30 or so seats.

What do you make of the Airbus A350 going 10-abreast?

Conversations (59)
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  1. JohanW Guest

    Hmm the argument of booking on A350 over the B787 will be gone.

  2. C F Murray Guest

    I'd put up with a little narrower seat, in exchange for more leg room.

  3. Captain Bud Guest

    They can do what they want in the back. I’m a Captain on the Buss and quite frankly, in my opinion it’s a POS. Give me a Boeing any day.

  4. Truth Guest

    Why don't they simply remove the toilets. They can add 5 to 10 seats with that space. Also get rid of the galley. Don't give passengers food or drinks and they won't have to use the bathroom. In case of emergencies, each seat will have a bag.
    Another way is to place people in stacked bunk beds chained..uh I mean in seat belts, side by side like the old seafaring days.

    You welcome greedy airlines.

  5. Simon Guest

    Perhaps this is an interim solution to calls from Sir Tim Clark and Willie Walsh for Airbus to offer a larger capacity long range aircraft than the A350-1000.

  6. Bill Guest

    Regardless of how well Airbus can fit an additional 30 seats to their A350 I bet airlines will not reduce ticket prices. Just reinforces what most travellers view as cattle class.

  7. Maurice Askew Guest

    The Boeing 747 had 10 abreast seating for the economy class ( back in the day it was called coach). People were smaller in size back in 1970; they are larger, wider and taller today and want more leg room and wider seats. Airlines want to pack passengers like a cattle truck.

  8. Chris Guest

    Let's see how quickly they pretend the "XWB" thing never happened.

  9. Dick Bupkiss Guest

    Here's the solution: Just get rid of the aisles completely. Aisles are wasted space that do not produce any revenue. Customers don't wait aisles, they want low fares. Removing aisles would accomplish that.

    That'll allow 16-across seating. Sure, boarding will take longer, but they can price the seats based on how many rows away from they door they are: close to the doors, that's "Economy Extra Comfort" and you'll pay more. 30 rows back from...

    Here's the solution: Just get rid of the aisles completely. Aisles are wasted space that do not produce any revenue. Customers don't wait aisles, they want low fares. Removing aisles would accomplish that.

    That'll allow 16-across seating. Sure, boarding will take longer, but they can price the seats based on how many rows away from they door they are: close to the doors, that's "Economy Extra Comfort" and you'll pay more. 30 rows back from the doors, that's be "Extreme Value Plus" seating. Those sitting in row 128 will need to be a bit nimble as they climb over rows to reach their seats, but imagine how cheap those tickets would be -- people will love that!

    In addition to low ticket prices (which is the primary criteria the public uses when choosing flights), this would provide many other benefits:

    It would greatly reduce trips back to use the toilets -- I mean, if you had to climb over 60 rows of occupied seats just to reach the loo, you would think twice about making the effort. And of course with fewer people using the toilets, they could reduce the number of bathrooms needed, allowing then to squeeze in another dozen rows back there in the most popular super-duper-cheap seats.

    Lacking aisles, it would be a lot more difficult for passengers to lug large, wheeled suitcases aboard while pretending they would fit in the overhead bins. Most bags would have to be checked, so more checked bag fees, more profit for the airline...and since customers only look at the base price, they would only realize too-late that their cheap seat would require them to pay extra to check their bag, as it would need to be gate-checked, at an even higher price. Win-win!

    With no aisles, flight attendants would never have to leave the galley once the seat belt presentations have been done. No carts bumping your elbow. No more pretense of providing in-flight meals, drinks, snacks or any service at all. No money wasted on any of those things, and happier cabin crews who would have few tasks beyond being there for your safety, and easier contract negotiations with the unions.

    Yep, this is the next logical step for airlines, in fact, it seems inevitable. Look for it on your next 16-hour flight.

  10. Mike Guest

    Airlines are not forced to accept 9, 10 or whatever abreast. The airline chooses their own layout.
    10 abreast is an option, especially as Emirates and others have just said they want larger capacities.

  11. Gurdip Guest

    On Short Flight Would be Ok But Long Flight it Would Terrible experience. A350 is Long Rang Aircraft. Best Avoid A350.

  12. jns Guest

    I already make decisions on which airline to fly depending on the width from center of arm rest to center of arm rest. I looked up the configuration online. The walls are not thick enough to reduce enough to add an additional seat on that alone. If they advertise the same seat width, the extra width will have to come from making arm rests narrower or aisles narrower or both. Current dense A350 configurations with...

    I already make decisions on which airline to fly depending on the width from center of arm rest to center of arm rest. I looked up the configuration online. The walls are not thick enough to reduce enough to add an additional seat on that alone. If they advertise the same seat width, the extra width will have to come from making arm rests narrower or aisles narrower or both. Current dense A350 configurations with 10 wide in economy class indeed do have narrower seats

  13. glenn t Diamond

    In terms of overall passenger comfort the current A350 configurations of all full-service airlines is just about right.
    Adding more seats goes a step too far, relagating the popular A350 to the non-sought-afer ULCC pack.
    While travel demand is sky high it seems a 'good idea' with the possibility of filling every seat, but when demand returns to normal levels many flights will be flying with too many empty seats cluttering up their A350s.
    Time will tell I guess.

  14. CommonSense Guest

    Would be so nice if people stood up to the airlines and started demanding to be treated like human beings again.... unfortunately the vast majority of the people on earth barely qualify as humans any more as much as some new class of creature driven only by greed, selfishness, and laziness that is far too self centered to make even the smallest of sacrifice to better things even for themselves.

  15. Christian See Guest

    I’m sure SQ won’t. If they don’t have it on their 777s then there’s no chance they will on the 350s

  16. TravelCat2 Member

    Surely Airbus is making this change to make the A350 greener and more sustainable! (end sarcasm)

  17. Trey Guest

    A lot of us are saying "I'll avoid this, I'll avoid that," but the majority of flyers have no idea/or care whether they'll be flying 3-4-3 or 3-3-3, or aircraft type, or even what airline - for that matter. They'll just click on the lowest price or time convenience.
    When flying economy I have managed to avoid 10-abreast 777s, 9-abrest 787s (unless plane was <50% full), bad reputable airlines, 20year-old aircraft, etc. etc. but...

    A lot of us are saying "I'll avoid this, I'll avoid that," but the majority of flyers have no idea/or care whether they'll be flying 3-4-3 or 3-3-3, or aircraft type, or even what airline - for that matter. They'll just click on the lowest price or time convenience.
    When flying economy I have managed to avoid 10-abreast 777s, 9-abrest 787s (unless plane was <50% full), bad reputable airlines, 20year-old aircraft, etc. etc. but airlines know we're not the typical passenger.

  18. Rickb Guest

    Don’t care for an hour or two flight, but would choose anything else except an A350 for a flight longer than three hours if it were 10 a breast

  19. Avi Guest

    Airbus is simply lying about the possibility of increasing the width of the plane by another 18 inches without developing a new plane like Boeing did with the Boeing 777x where Boeing is really producing a type of almost new plane and has really increased the width of the plane a bit and based on that the Boeing 777 is already wider plus the new width Boeing The 777x will be much more comfortable in...

    Airbus is simply lying about the possibility of increasing the width of the plane by another 18 inches without developing a new plane like Boeing did with the Boeing 777x where Boeing is really producing a type of almost new plane and has really increased the width of the plane a bit and based on that the Boeing 777 is already wider plus the new width Boeing The 777x will be much more comfortable in terms of economy than the Airbus 350. The Dreamliner will also be more attractive, especially since you can't add another row to it, as its seats are already a little narrower than the Airbus 350.

    1. Lune Member

      Not true. Boeing is doing the same with the 777x. It's the exact same fuselage (same diameter, everything). But they're thinning out the interior insulation / etc. to increase the interior cabin width by ~4in. But given that most 777s today have 10-abreast seating, if they keep 10-abreast seating in the 777x, it will definitely be a little more comfortable than what we have now. But it still won't be comparable to a 9-abreast 777-300/200.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      It's amazing the imaginary stuff people come up with on these sites, lol.

      No, the 777X is not a "new plane"... it's just a derivative, otherwise it couldn't be certified as a 777.

      Airbus is doing the exact same thing Boeing did: taking an extant design, then redesigning insulation, shifting ducting, and thinning out the inner facing wall. Just like with the 777X, the exterior dimensions do not change.

  20. RF Guest

    Seems miserable. Avoid any airline that does this.

  21. AA70 Gold

    While this is no small adjustment, I imagine the majority of OMAAT readers will be unaffected by this as we don't fly economy when it matters

    1. The average traveler Guest

      That is a really snobby comment. I don't think you understand much about flying beyond your own little world.

  22. Matt Guest

    Cool this will lead to cheaper economy fares. 787 will be next to go 10 across

    1. Rick Guest

      They will never we do as fares as they have proven their greed in the past

  23. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Just as with any product, some airlines will choose low quality and some will choose high quality - as evidenced by the fact that there are airlines that have 8 abreast in economy on the 787 while the majority are at 9 abreast; the difference is notable.
    Airbus aircraft have largely not had the option for airlines to modify the number of seats wide in each row while that can be done with both...

    Just as with any product, some airlines will choose low quality and some will choose high quality - as evidenced by the fact that there are airlines that have 8 abreast in economy on the 787 while the majority are at 9 abreast; the difference is notable.
    Airbus aircraft have largely not had the option for airlines to modify the number of seats wide in each row while that can be done with both the 787 and 777.
    Since the A350 is a very long haul aircraft, there will be some airlines that will pass because adding 30 more seats will significantly degrade the airplane's performance. For airlines that use the A350 on 12 hour segments, adding 30 more seats might not matter in terms of performance. Airlines that regularly use their A350s for 14 hour plus flights are not likely to add more coach seats unless they take out weight somewhere else.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      That sounds nice in theory, but in practice, we didn't really see that.

      For example, EK flies their 77Ws farther than anyone else, yet they were among the first airlines to put the 777 in 10abreast config.

      I don't recall there being a time when EY and QR, who also fly them extraordinarily long distance, didn't have them 10abreast.

      And lastly, QR's 772LRs were in 9abreast config, but have recently been brought to...

      That sounds nice in theory, but in practice, we didn't really see that.

      For example, EK flies their 77Ws farther than anyone else, yet they were among the first airlines to put the 777 in 10abreast config.

      I don't recall there being a time when EY and QR, who also fly them extraordinarily long distance, didn't have them 10abreast.

      And lastly, QR's 772LRs were in 9abreast config, but have recently been brought to 10abreast, despite still operating some of the longest flights in the world.

      DL, who didn't even have stretched 777s, and KE/SQ, who didn't fly their 77Ws all that far, were exceptions; not the rule.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The 777LR and -300ER are very capable aircraft. Adding more passengers did affect performance but the aircraft were capable of handling it.
      The A350 probably can handle more passengers on many routes but not on all. The A350 is a very capable aircraft esp. as the -1000 where the range covers far beyond what most airlines will use.
      Also, some airlines are increasing seating density in coach while adding more seats in premium...

      The 777LR and -300ER are very capable aircraft. Adding more passengers did affect performance but the aircraft were capable of handling it.
      The A350 probably can handle more passengers on many routes but not on all. The A350 is a very capable aircraft esp. as the -1000 where the range covers far beyond what most airlines will use.
      Also, some airlines are increasing seating density in coach while adding more seats in premium class; the issue might not be as much about more total seats but further stratifying the experience between premium and deep discount seats.
      as has been noted, some airlines will choose 10 abreast if it is available as a reasonable alternative while some airlines will stick with 9 abreast.

  24. Donna Diamond

    What a miserable flying experience this will be for those seated in 10 across configurations on long haul flights. The movement to and popularity of Premium Economy has not been surprising. One has to wonder which direction the wind is blowing over the next twenty years - large Premium Economy cabins or 12 across on an A350?

  25. Jon W Guest

    If they go down to one aisle, they could do 6-5 and have 11 per row in economy. In that case, only 36 percent would get a window or aisle which would increase the likelihood people would pay extra for preferred seating.

    1. Sergio Guest

      Definitely this would cause a "reverse card uno" on the airline industry. Many would now find the 787 whit 3-3-3 more comfortable now than 3-4-3. How a can a step change things between life and death!

    2. 123xyz Guest

      I'm pretty sure that's not legal. I believe that each seat has to have no more than two other seats between it and the aisle, so 11-across can only be accomplished with a 3-5-3 allignment. Admittedly, I heard that a long time ago from a source of unknown reliability, but I know for sure that every plane has to pass an evacuation time test. It would be impossible to pass that with a 6-5 allignment unless you had exits in every row

  26. Minos Guest

    If you believe the garbage about same seat-width, I have snake oil to sell you...

    The fuselage thickness of the A350 was already optimized and there is exactly 1.3 inch from window to outer fuselage. Thee most extra width you will get is thus 2.6 in.

    So you are effectively decreasing seat width. There is no way around that and it is all accounting snake and mirrors. End story is your elbow will still be...

    If you believe the garbage about same seat-width, I have snake oil to sell you...

    The fuselage thickness of the A350 was already optimized and there is exactly 1.3 inch from window to outer fuselage. Thee most extra width you will get is thus 2.6 in.

    So you are effectively decreasing seat width. There is no way around that and it is all accounting snake and mirrors. End story is your elbow will still be on your neighboor's seat.

    They can decrease aisle width, which means that passengers and flight attendants will bump on you more frequently to get an extra 1in on each aisle. That is 4.6in total. This is not an additional seat width.

    The 777 is already uncomfortable as it is at 10 abreat (especially is you end up on a row where your elbow is at the same place as the thickest part of the fuselage wall). The A350 has an even narrower fuselage.

    A350: Outer fuselage 5.97 mCabin Width 5.61m
    B777: Outer fuselage 6.20 m Cabin Width 5.96m

    At shoulder level, it is not that different because the 777 and A350 diameter are so large that the wall appear for the most part flat. So you are having roughly 32cm less to work with to put the same number of seats...

  27. Sam Guest

    Whatever happened to the proposed 3-5-3 main deck layout for the A380??

  28. SlimPickings Guest

    Americans get fatter and seats get smaller. And they wonder why people get so hostile onboard. You cram too many rats in a cage and they'll start eating each other.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      This is a European manufacturer building aircraft only one American carrier has purchased, and the majority units of which won't be flown to the USA...

      ...in essence: why would they care?

  29. Paul Wilson Guest

    This is, as usual, purely for the airline. Higher cabin density is never passenger friendly and never leafs to lower ticket prices. The emissions question is a government determined carbon offset slight of hand calculation to do with taxation.

  30. Davis Guest

    The general consensus is that the 777 is pretty uncomfortable with 10-abreast, and the 777 is substantially wider than the A350. The A350 is going to go from being a plane to seek out to a plane to avoid. Disappointing.

    My guess is that Starlux will be the launch operator for this. Their A350 seat count seems extremely high, especially with first class.

    1. Sergio Guest

      Definitely this would cause a turn around on the airline industry. Many would now find the 787 whit 3-3-3 more comfortable now than 3-4-3. Meanwhile, the best plane as the 330neo, the 767, and the 380 or tneynhave been retired or not sell well.

    2. Brianair Guest

      Oh god, I hope it’s not Starlux. They say they’ve been striving to be the “Emirates of East Asia” and this would totally ruin it. On the flip side, though, I wouldn’t like a small seat pitch on one of their transpacific flights either.

  31. SamB Member

    Going 10-abreast on 777s was a hellish economy development. Disappointed Airbus is moving this way too. I flew one recently and was shocked by how tight it is, especially in the aisles. It was hard to maneuver a normal sized suitcase and the carts kept hitting elbows and shoulders as they rolled through.

    1. Brianair Guest

      I flew on a Swiss 777 that was 10-abreast in economy and it actually wasn’t nearly as tight and uncomfortable as I thought. I felt like I had plenty of room to stretch out my arms and legs and grab stuff. I can only imagine what a 9-abreast 777 would feel like. Although I’m a very short and skinny guy, so your mileage might vary.

  32. David Guest

    Ben, what happened to your secret mission to DXB article?

  33. GBOAC Diamond

    Airbus claims that it can add an extra seat by pushing the walls out slightly without impacting current comfort. Given that a seat plus armrest is at minimum 18", that means pushing the interior wall on each side out 9" if you are going to maintain the current seat/arm rest dimensions.
    Is this even possible (are airplane interior walls that thick). I doubt it but maybe someone on OMAAT can correct me

  34. LX Guest

    The 10 abreast A350 is already out there. Air Caraïbes uses that configuration.

    1. Todd Guest

      As mentioned in the post, so does French Bee.

  35. Keith Guest

    Perhaps the airlines can market their soon-to-be 10 across seating as a folk experience. They could dress their gate agents as cow hands and replace the usual rope and stanchion system with rustic rail holding pens. In keeping with this theme, the flight attendants could wear white coats with tastefully arranged red splashes while assisting passengers to their seats. In the final stage, the economy passengers stampede and trample the first and business class passengers....

    Perhaps the airlines can market their soon-to-be 10 across seating as a folk experience. They could dress their gate agents as cow hands and replace the usual rope and stanchion system with rustic rail holding pens. In keeping with this theme, the flight attendants could wear white coats with tastefully arranged red splashes while assisting passengers to their seats. In the final stage, the economy passengers stampede and trample the first and business class passengers. Ive patented it, Disney. No new theme rides.

  36. Jan Guest

    If major A350 carriers switch to 3-4-3 then the 787 will look a lot more attractive in comparison.
    That said, if that becomes the norm, I would hope DL would be a holdout, like they were in their 777s.

  37. Mike O. Guest

    Airbus is (or was if this news comes to fruition) known to have the sweet spot for comfort whether its 2-4-2 for the A330/A340 or 3-3-3 for the A350. If the A330/A340 becomes 3-3-3 and the A350 becomes 3-4-3 in it's current form, you head into ULCC territory. Whereas with a Boeing, 9 abreast was initially standard when the 777 and 787 was introduced. And when an extra seat was added, you can still be...

    Airbus is (or was if this news comes to fruition) known to have the sweet spot for comfort whether its 2-4-2 for the A330/A340 or 3-3-3 for the A350. If the A330/A340 becomes 3-3-3 and the A350 becomes 3-4-3 in it's current form, you head into ULCC territory. Whereas with a Boeing, 9 abreast was initially standard when the 777 and 787 was introduced. And when an extra seat was added, you can still be considered a full service carrier even with the likes of CX, ANA, and every quality carrier you can think of. (JAL seems to be an outlier as only some of their 787s are currently 10-abreast and used for domestic flights) Now when the 77X enters service, 10-abreast will be standard so expect the likes of SQ to follow suit similarly to the way they followed suit on their 787s.

    1. Antarius Guest

      You're forgetting the 767. At 2-3-2, it has the best Y experience of any of the widebodies

    2. Mike O. Guest

      Well that's an outlier. Just as JAL is an outlier for still being 3-3-3 on the 777, 2-4-2 on the 787. But as a whole, Airbus is known for passenger comfort over Boeing. They're known to have much quieter engines, but from my experience (there might be those who disagree), a Boeing offers a much more stable, smoother ride in turbulence compared to an Airbus.

    3. Brianair Guest

      JAL, Korean Air, and Singapore are the three major carriers left I can think of that have a 3-3-3 economy cabin on 777s that’s actually up to date. The problem is that you look at the list of airlines that still have 3-3-3 in economy and it’s dominated by government owned or controlled airlines that haven’t updated their cabin in a decade or two, such as Air India, PIA, UIA, Turkish Airlines, and I think...

      JAL, Korean Air, and Singapore are the three major carriers left I can think of that have a 3-3-3 economy cabin on 777s that’s actually up to date. The problem is that you look at the list of airlines that still have 3-3-3 in economy and it’s dominated by government owned or controlled airlines that haven’t updated their cabin in a decade or two, such as Air India, PIA, UIA, Turkish Airlines, and I think Air China.

      Are ANA and EVA still maintaining a sub-fleet of 777s that keep the 3-3-3 configuration (intended for their longest routes like JFK, ORD, IAD, IAH, YYZ)?

    4. DavidO Guest

      I think you mean JAL’s domestic configured 777-300’s, with a pretty incredible 500 seats, compared to their 777-300ER’s configured with only 244 seats. I’m pretty sure all of JAL’s 787’s are actually 8 across in economy, making them just about the most comfortable 787 operator out there. They’ve got a 787-9 configuration with less than 200 seats.

    5. Mike O. Guest

      JAL got rid of their domestic 772s and 773s which had PW engines. They still have international configured 777s which has GE engines and has a unique 3-4-2 configuration so hence the keyword "still". And their domestic configured 787s are 3-3-3.

    6. Lune Member

      Agreed. I was always thankful that Airbus added a few extra inches than its Boeing counterpart (A32x vs 737, 787 vs A350) but not so many extra inches that the airlines would be tempted into adding another seat. It seems that was false hope...

  38. Alec New Member

    Maybe airlines will just keep 9 and give everyone an even more comfortable experience! (end sarcasm)

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Antarius Guest

You're forgetting the 767. At 2-3-2, it has the best Y experience of any of the widebodies

5
Jan Guest

If major A350 carriers switch to 3-4-3 then the 787 will look a lot more attractive in comparison. That said, if that becomes the norm, I would hope DL would be a holdout, like they were in their 777s.

3
Dick Bupkiss Guest

Here's the solution: Just get rid of the aisles completely. Aisles are wasted space that do not produce any revenue. Customers don't wait aisles, they want low fares. Removing aisles would accomplish that. That'll allow 16-across seating. Sure, boarding will take longer, but they can price the seats based on how many rows away from they door they are: close to the doors, that's "Economy Extra Comfort" and you'll pay more. 30 rows back from the doors, that's be "Extreme Value Plus" seating. Those sitting in row 128 will need to be a bit nimble as they climb over rows to reach their seats, but imagine how cheap those tickets would be -- people will <b>love</b> that! In addition to low ticket prices (which is the primary criteria the public uses when choosing flights), this would provide many other benefits: It would greatly reduce trips back to use the toilets -- I mean, if you had to climb over 60 rows of occupied seats just to reach the loo, you would think twice about making the effort. And of course with fewer people using the toilets, they could reduce the number of bathrooms needed, allowing then to squeeze in another dozen rows back there in the most popular super-duper-cheap seats. Lacking aisles, it would be a lot more difficult for passengers to lug large, wheeled suitcases aboard while pretending they would fit in the overhead bins. Most bags would have to be checked, so more checked bag fees, more profit for the airline...and since customers only look at the base price, they would only realize too-late that their cheap seat would require them to pay extra to check their bag, as it would need to be gate-checked, at an even higher price. Win-win! With no aisles, flight attendants would never have to leave the galley once the seat belt presentations have been done. No carts bumping your elbow. No more pretense of providing in-flight meals, drinks, snacks or any service at all. No money wasted on any of those things, and happier cabin crews who would have few tasks beyond being there for your safety, and easier contract negotiations with the unions. Yep, this is the next logical step for airlines, in fact, it seems inevitable. Look for it on your next 16-hour flight.

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