Patent for flight seating plan to help budget carriers squeeze in more flyers

If fliers thought budget flights could not get any more cramped, there is news for them.

Things could get worse, thanks to a patent filed by industry supplier Zodiac Seats France, which proposes to squeeze in more passengers by turning passengers around so they faced each other.

According to the seating plan, the middle seat in a section of three would be reversed, meaning the passenger would have to face two other people on board.

According to the detailed diagrams for the patent the arms would need to intertwine, making for an even more intimate trip.

The Economy Class Cabin was called Hexagon, due to the rough shape created when seen from above.

It said that while also increasing cabin passenger density, passengers would also benefit from shoulder space.

There was no guarantee that the seating formations would actually become reality, but it was another example of how budget air travel could get even worse.

It is not the first time the airline industry had attempted to squeeze even more people into economy class. Ryanair boss, Michael O' Leary had earlier showed interest in 'standing seats' as a way to cut plane ticket prices.

While a lack of legroom was generally the biggest problem for air travellers, the aim of this unconventional design was to "increase the space available at the shoulder and arm area".

It would also create room for more seats on the plane, Zodiac said, a feature which would doubtless appeal to airlines.

"There is a desire to increase the number of seats within a given space to optimize the number of passengers being transported at any given time," Zodiac said, Mashable reported. "By increasing the number of seats in the space, the amount of space available for each passenger is diminished."

But the good news was, the "Hexagon" was only a patent, and Zodiac had no public plans to make it a reality. If it did, it would need to pass a battery of tests, including passengers' ability to quickly evacuate, and the seats' capacity to withstand 16g forces in the event of a crash, Wired wrote.