man sitting in a double-decker plane seat, trying to sleep
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Plan For Double-Decker Plane Seats Roasted As 'Fresh Hell' Online

While it would be nice if all airplane seats were luxurious and comfortable, the reality is that most airplane seats — particularly those residing in the dreaded 'economy' section of any seating maps — are small, cramped, and uncomfortable (unless you're willing to take things into your own hands). It's just one more thing that can make air travel such an unpleasant experience.

A concept for a new type of airplane seat, one that truly packs passengers in like sardines, has attracted ridicule online.

The new seats are 'double-decker' style.

A double decker English bus
Unsplash | Dave Kim

If you think of double-decker seating, you might think of one of those jolly English buses. But double-decker, at least in the context of these airplane seating maps, means something considerably less fun.

Behold: what the fresh hell is this?

Unlike that jolly English bust, the double-decker airplane seats haven't charmed many people online — and they're getting roasted. Author Amber Sparks shared this image, which links to a CNN article on the new seats. As you can see, the seating map puts a row of people directly against the butts of those in the seats in front of them.

I'm not even going to get started on how difficult it must be to get into these things.

You're not the only one with questions.

Seating maps might put your seats far from the plane's washroom, but these airplane seats seem to put passengers in a position they won't be able to move from. I mean, it's clear that those sitting in the back or lower seats will have to keep their legs extended straight in order to sit down.

The seats are the brainchild of Alejandro Núñez Vicente.

The design by Núñez Vicente was nominated for a Crystal Cabin Award. There are a few pics in the slideshow above. The first shows Núñez Vicente sitting comfortably in the front row with unlimited legroom, but things get increasingly grim as he moves into that back room of airplane seats.

This isn't the first time we've seen something like this.

Another prototype that could change seating maps everywhere is this half-standing, half-sitting design for budget airlines. It doesn't look comfortable, exactly, but I think I'd take this design over the double-decker business.

New seating options just feel claustrophobic.

It's no secret that people, overall, are getting bigger. But that isn't necessarily the reason that airplane seats feel so snug these days, because the seats and legroom keep shrinking as airlines find new ways to squeeze more people onto flights.

Double-decker seats don't have to be bad.

This image shows a more comfortable — dare I say, more humane — double-decker seating option. But this one doesn't maximize the number of people who can fit into a space, so if it ever makes it off the drawing board, it would likely be a first class option.

Has anyone thought this idea through?

Núñez Vicente, for what it's worth, has put a lot of thought into his cramped design.

"My purpose here is to change the economy class seats for the better of humanity, or for all the people that cannot afford to pay for more expensive tickets," he told CNN.

Are these seats dehumanizing us or are they bettering humanity? I suppose it's all in the eye of the beholder.

It might be the next big change in airplane seats.

The base design we see on most seating maps hasn't changed much in the entire history of aviation, apart from getting smaller and more cramped. The double-decker concept would represent a major shakeup if it gets off the ground.

It's the dystopian future of air travel.

At this point, it truly does feel more humane to just get stacked onto planes like the bags of bones we are.

Let us know what you think of these seats, and share your best airplane or airport horror stories, in the comments!