Double-Decker Seats On Planes May Be The Future Of Economy Flights

by : Lucy Connolly on : 26 Jun 2020 14:58
Double-Decker Seats On Planes May Be The Future Of Economy FlightsZephyr Aerospace

We’ve heard of double-decker buses. We’ve heard of double-decker trains. Hell, we’ve even heard of double-decker planes.

But what about double-decker seats on planes? Probably not, right? Well, that’s because they don’t exist – at least not right now they don’t.


If start-up company Zephyr Aerospace has its way though, double-decker seats could become a staple for economy travel – particularly in a post-coronavirus world, where airlines will need to comply with social distancing requirements.

double decker seats on planesZephyr Aerospace

The San Francisco-based company hopes to make economy seating more spacious and comfortable for passengers, while at the same time giving them plenty of room and privacy.

Zephyr Aerospace has designed what it calls the Zephyr Seat, something it describes as ‘a lie-flat seat designed for everyone’. The seat allows passengers to choose how they fly – lying completely flat, lounging or sitting upright with their legs fully extended.


Not only that, but by using a ‘stacked’ seating configuration, the company has managed to create a double-decker-style seating plan that essentially fits a second row of seats where an airliner would usually have space for overhead baggage storage.

double decker seats on plane ladderZephyr Aerospace

‘Our design increases capacity by 20%+ on long-haul aircraft and reduces costs by “unbundling” expensive meals, baggage, and other premium amenities, offering the lowest price in the industry for a lie-flat bed,’ the company said in its pitch.

The seats can be laid out in already-existing airline cabins, with all-aisle access across a 2-4-2 combination. Passengers would be able to sit above and below each other in a bunk-bed style, using a ladder to gain easy access to the upper level.


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Zephyr Aerospace CEO Jeffrey O’Neill came up with the idea after struggling to get comfortable on a 19-hour flight from New York to Singapore. ‘I’m on probably the best rated airline in the world, and I’m getting wonderful service and the food is edible, but I can’t sleep,’ he recalled to CNN.

Having already experienced a bus ride in Argentina that utilised bunk beds to give passengers room to sleep, O’Neill wondered why a similar design couldn’t be used on planes too.

That was two years ago, and the CEO says his idea has since grown from a drawing scribbled on the back of a napkin to a life-size mock-up, which he says proves its feasibility.


O’Neill said he’s already talked to four different airlines about their interest in the seating, so this prototype could be becoming reality sooner than we all expected.

Well, what do you think? Do you reckon you’d be on board for bunk-bed style seating on your next plane journey, or would you prefer things to stay as they are?

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: News, America, Now, San Francisco, US


Zephyr Aerospace/Instagram and 2 others
  1. Zephyr Aerospace/Instagram


  2. Republic

    Zephyr Aerospace

  3. CNN

    Is this double-decker seat the future of airplane travel?