Leah Panapa: Stuck in the middle with no view

Opinion 26/07/2019

by Leah Panapa, Magic Talk Nights host.

There are many people that when it comes to flying they’re happy to get from A to B for the best price possible and that normally means the best seats won’t be available.

Not all seats are created equal.

Looking out the window only reminds me of how high up we are, so I always try and get the aisle. My heart sinks however if I look at my boarding pass – do the math in my head – and realise, I have the dreaded middle seat.

It’s like my body knows I am ‘trapped’ and as soon as the light goes on to take our seat belts off, I need to go to the toilet. I don’t want to disturb the person next to me, so I try and wait, but of course that doesn’t work.

And then there’s the silent fight over the armrests.

I read something recently that made me giggle, apparently there is ‘plane seat etiquette’ where the person in the window seat gets the view and one arm rest, the person in the aisle, extra leg room and one arm rest and the middle seat gets BOTH armrests! Did you know that?

So imagine my excitement at the news of a company that may have invented a game-changing innovative design that has just received clearance from the US civil aviation body, the Federal Aviation Administration.

At the moment, the three-seater row is in a straight line, that's about to change.

Designers Molon Labe Seating having staggered the seats.

Dubbed ‘S1’ the middle seat is slightly lower and set back. The person in the middle seat gets to use both armrest but so does those on either side – it is shared.

No more elbow battles with your fellow travellers, plus another bonus is that it is three inches bigger than its neighbours.

The company has been developing the seating for over five years with the ‘S1’ designed for short-haul flights but they are also working on seats for longer haul aircraft as well.

If the budget can’t stretch to the pointy end of the plane this could be the next best thing. And on the news of approval from the FAA, an unnamed US airline has already placed an order.

Fingers crossed our national carrier redirects its funds from producing movie length safety videos featuring a cast of thousands and get the ‘S1’ seating.

Leah Panapa is host of Magic Talk Nights.