To recline, or not to recline, is a troublesome question. Recent events in the U.S. air travel market prove that it is a volatile issue for some passengers, leading to aggression onboard.
For airlines, and the aircraft seating industry, it’s a puzzle. Is it better to provide the option of recline, and risk seat troubles when one passenger offends another, or should the recline feature become a relic of passenger experience past?
At a recent cabin comfort panel session during the IATA World Passenger Summit, industry experts reviewed the merits and trends of recline and no-recline seats, searching for balance.
Present at the panel was Klaus Steinmeyer, VP Business Development for Recaro Aircraft Seating, who reported that, after years of no-recline models waiting on the concept board, interest in this option has spiked.
“We brought non-reclining seats in 2009, for the Crystal Cabin award. [It was considered] a great seat,” he said. “But then it got silent. We didn’t get a lot requests for the seat. Now-a-days, suddenly, we have a lot of requests for the no-recline seats.”
There are inherent benefits to airlines in this seat model, beyond avoiding altercations. The seats, more commonly labelled as “pre-reclined,” are sloped to conform to the body ergonomically which compensates for some passenger comfort issues resulting from a fixed back. Without a reclining mechanism, they may suffer less damage from repeat use, and have fewer maintenance issues. Generally, the weight of these seat models is also reduced since the feature is incorporated in today’s reengineered lighter seats.
But these benefits didn’t tempt airlines before. So what has changed? Steinmeyer believes this new demand is related to other watershed changes in cabin standards.
“I compare this to the business class seat in single-aisle aircraft,” he says. “It was common to have a business class comfy chair in 2-2 configuration, but this barrier has been broken. It’s been accepted to have economy seats, in certain regions, just by leaving open the center seat, or giving a little more leg space. So it’s been accepted in the market. It’s the same with no-recline seats, on shorter routes. Once this is accepted, it rolls on. Then the market says, ‘why can’t we do this?’”…Fuente: http://skift.com/2015/11/02/the-future-of-airline-seat-reclining-or-not/?utm_campaign=Daily+Newsletter&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=23351901&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_6nLgM7tdTgviVxw0U-BWbmU-NWp1RpDLukAPytMIoOXKOXAQ2VZbZihtXnCKb3-8Xtu1FFbP5-vifI&es_c=20271&es_t=1446732352