Anytime we look at a new design for airplane seats, they've focused on things like increasing your comfort, or decreasing your comfort, or not disturbing other passengers, or cramming more passengers into the fuselage. Now an aircraft interior design house called Molon Labe Designs is using seat design to tackle another problem: slow turnaround times. While we're not convinced this will solve the problem completely, it is an interesting take.
Despite airlines' attempts to board us in an order that reduces bottlenecks, we've all been stuck behind a passenger blocking the aisle while loading the overhead bin. This slows down the boarding process and, potentially, delays the departure time. Molon Labe's solution is a row of seats where the outermost one slides up and over the center seat, temporarily increasing the aisle space:
With the seats tucked in, the aisle now goes from 19" to 43" wide. The company reports that's enough room for a wheelchair to roll through, and it's presumably enough room for us to slide past other people.
The presentation images are a little underwhelming, and the company's claims seem a bit lofty—they're claiming the seat design can save airlines $75,000 a day in fuel, as "Airlines waste energy powering essential services while on the ground." But despite the primitive renderings, the system is apparently for real; they've announced they're debuting this Side Slip Seat at the upcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo next month in Germany.