No one wants the middle seat on airplanes. This design could change that

Colorado-based startup Molon Labe Seating is developing a staggered seating design for commercial airlines which they claim provides passengers with more room and larger seats.

Posted: Jul 19, 2019 8:59 AM


It is a truth universally acknowledged that middle seats on airplanes are the worst.

Being awkwardly sandwiched in between two people while fighting for elbow room is the bane of most passengers. Now a new design might actually make people want the middle seat -- or at least make the flying experience less miserable.

The S1 design from the Colorado-based startup, Molon Labe Seating, features three economy seats in a staggered layout, putting the middle seat slightly behind the aisle and window seats, and at a slightly lower height.

Sitting directly adjacent to two people means that passengers only have so much shoulder room. But moving the middle seat back a few inches allows for more space, so the company made the middle seat about three to five inches wider than the standard 18 inch seat.

"That little bit of stagger means that every single person gets to spread out a little more," Hank Scott, the founder and CEO of Molon Labe Seating, told CNN.

Passengers won't have to fight over elbow space either. The armrests are also built so that they are not a uniform height from front to back. They will allow the aisle and window passengers to rest their elbows on the front of the armrest while leaving space at the back, which is lower, for the middle passenger.

"No seats are any smaller, one seat ends up being wider, and we've solved the elbow wars," Scott said.

The seats are intended for shorter, domestic flights, though the company is developing a version for longer flights that include more padding and larger TV screens.

So when can passengers test out these seats for themselves?

The seats were certified by the Federal Aviation Administration last month, and are being manufactured by Primus Aerospace in Colorado. Scott said that he expected they would be available on two airlines by April or May of 2020. Though he could not disclose which airlines would feature the seats, he said one of them is based in North America.

It's not just passengers who will be happier with the new arrangement, Scott said. The seats are lighter than standard airline seats, which could help cut down on fuel costs.

"For an airline, it's kind of a no-brainer," he said.

The S1 seats won't fix everything about flying -- the seats don't recline or offer any more legroom. And that's not to mention the food, the chatty passengers, the inefficient boarding and de-boarding processes ... and the list goes on.

"It's still going to suck," Scott said. "Now it's going to suck less."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119066

Reported Deaths: 3612
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21563768
Lake10745324
Elkhart6734112
St. Joseph6679115
Allen6364205
Hamilton4965109
Vanderburgh384231
Hendricks2779124
Monroe267137
Tippecanoe259013
Johnson2362125
Clark226757
Porter222447
Delaware201162
Cass19589
Vigo187928
Madison171475
LaPorte151941
Warrick140743
Floyd140464
Howard133964
Kosciusko127117
Bartholomew119357
Marshall102124
Dubois100919
Boone99746
Grant96636
Hancock94843
Noble92932
Henry82226
Jackson77610
Wayne77314
Morgan73940
Shelby68329
Daviess68129
Dearborn67928
LaGrange64711
Clinton63414
Harrison59824
Putnam59011
Gibson5455
Knox5379
Lawrence51829
Montgomery51321
DeKalb49111
White48814
Decatur46139
Miami4394
Greene42936
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3977
Scott39311
Posey3541
Sullivan33812
Jennings31712
Franklin31525
Clay3105
Ripley3108
Orange28724
Whitley2876
Carroll28013
Adams2773
Wabash2758
Starke2737
Washington2702
Wells2694
Spencer2683
Jefferson2523
Huntington2503
Fulton2462
Tipton22922
Randolph2238
Perry22213
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1690
Pike1691
Rush1584
Vermillion1320
Fountain1302
Blackford1223
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1033
Benton860
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0227

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 152907

Reported Deaths: 4783
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin27283615
Cuyahoga17603657
Hamilton13340321
Montgomery7993166
Lucas7377364
Butler6151112
Summit5393252
Warren313649
Mahoning3114282
Marion311447
Stark2946175
Pickaway268445
Lorain234286
Delaware232821
Fairfield214654
Licking196063
Columbiana195180
Wood194273
Trumbull1921132
Clark185341
Clermont176123
Lake166051
Greene153634
Medina149339
Miami147652
Allen147372
Portage117766
Mercer113919
Erie96047
Tuscarawas94320
Wayne94268
Richland94119
Ross90426
Madison85512
Darke81144
Athens7402
Geauga73349
Hancock73110
Belmont72427
Lawrence68622
Shelby66910
Ashtabula66248
Auglaize62511
Putnam62523
Sandusky58720
Huron5727
Union5512
Scioto5287
Seneca49514
Ottawa47230
Muskingum4553
Preble44716
Holmes3999
Jefferson3424
Henry33715
Defiance33212
Champaign3143
Logan3143
Clinton30512
Perry3039
Fulton2991
Brown2923
Knox28915
Jackson2667
Washington26323
Morrow2622
Hardin25713
Ashland2484
Crawford2486
Coshocton23511
Fayette2346
Highland2313
Williams2163
Wyandot21512
Pike2040
Gallia19713
Meigs17711
Guernsey1748
Hocking1679
Carroll1527
Adams1374
Van Wert1283
Paulding1130
Monroe11018
Harrison643
Morgan500
Vinton483
Noble350
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Scattered Clouds
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 50°
Angola
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 45°
Huntington
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 43°
Decatur
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 44°
Van Wert
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 44°
Few Showers Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events