Will passengers stand for new upright airline seat? - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Will passengers stand for new upright airline seat?

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - There's a new plan for airline seats that make existing coach seats look spacious by comparison. But will passengers stand for these new upright saddle seats?

Instead of buckling up, you could be saddling up the next time you fly, if an Italian design company has its way with new economy class seats. But not everyone is on board with the idea.

"I think it'd feel like you're riding on a horse on the airplane. I think it'd be extremely uncomfortable for men and women," a traveler said.

"The regular seats are uncomfortable enough, especially for someone as tall as me, I don't know if I could fit in one of those let alone sit in there for an hour or two," another traveler said.

The so-called "Skyrider" seats have passengers sitting almost straight up and on a curved cushion. This cuts your already cramped legroom by another 25 percent, giving you only 23 inches separating you from the person to the front and back of you.

"That's not enough leg room at all. You look right there, your feet are going to be right underneath and your knees are going to be hitting the seat in front of you," a flier said.

The Latina-based design firm, Avio Interiors Group, unveiled the seats at a conference in Long Beach Tuesday, and say they will allow airlines to squeeze more passengers onto the plane, reduce ticket prices and maintain profits. Company executives insist the seats are comfortable, but only for short flights between one and three hours.

But for Michigan-based travelers like Bernie Depol, it wouldn't be enough for a sale. He'd rather hit the road than saddle up in the skies.

"Especially for my flight, four or five hours? No, I'd drive home," he said.

Airline safety officials have yet to approve the new seats, and say it's highly unlikely they will be certified in the near future.

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