Easyjet changes their hold bag rules

EasyJet’s new rules means that if you can pack up...

Cruises of a Lifetime You Can Actually Afford!

Whether you’re an experienced cruiser or a newbie,...

What’s Your Island IQ?

The Caribbean brings to mind azure waters and postcard-perfect...

Europe’s Coolest Cycling Tour

Terroir. Spend any time in one of the world’s...

10 Beautiful Beach Town Bargains for Fall

To tell the truth, here at Budget Travel we’ve...

8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways

Labor Day weekend may be just around the corner, but...

The Right—and Wrong—Way to Pay for Your Dream Trip

I’m short on cash. Should I put my vacation on...

Insiders’ Guide to the Caribbean

ST. MARTIN If there’s any complaint about this...

8 Mistakes That Will RUIN Your Weekend Getaway!

When Budget Travel asked whether it would be worth...

Upgrade Secrets from the Experts!

I have a long, transcontinental flight coming up. I...

  1. Destinations
  2. More News
  3. Featured
  4. Travel tips
  5. Trip ideas

5 Awesome & Affordable American Drives

some other elaborate, pricey conveyance, such as a...

10 things Mexico does better than anywhere else

(CNN) — Icy beers, empty beaches. It’s...

In Search of the Loch Ness Monster—and Other U.K. Pop-Culture Icons!

It’s fair to say the United Kingdom has produced...

Levant Hotel

Price From $105 The Doukakis family can’t take...

‘Fast & Furious’ will be a ride at Universal Studios

Universal is turning Fast & Furious into a theme...

Would you pay to launch this airline?

You’ve finished your business in London and want...

Powerful flavor: Rio’s incredible juice bars

For the first-timer, a Rio sucos, or juice bar, is...

Ireland, Air, Car, 6 Nights, From $810

The Real Deal Vacation package to Ireland includes...

Le Mas du Loriot

Price From $78 Each room has a private terrace with...

Willis Tower cracks frighten tourists, but officials say no one was in danger

A protective coating on a glass sightseeing box that...

Bella Venezia

Price From $149 Before the Ziniatis family bought this...

Seoul unveils $451 million ‘spaceship’ landmark

In yet another display of the city’s commitment...

Would you pay to launch this airline?

You’ve finished your business in London and want...

Tuscany, Castle Hotel, Car, 7 Nights, From $484

The Real Deal This land only vacation package includes...

World’s tallest Lego tower built in Budapest

(CNN) — Imagine the size of the box this one...

Cook Islands, Air, 5 Nights, From $1,399

The Real Deal Vacation package to the South Pacific...

One-Tank Escapes From 8 American Cities

A collection of 10 independent cities make up the Shenandoah...

Sources: Airlines warned to beware of possible shoe bombs

The U.S. government has warned airlines to pay particular...

Japan’s ‘anti-loneliness’ cafe goes viral

Talk about creative coping mechanisms for being alone...

Willis Tower cracks frighten tourists, but officials say no one was in danger

A protective coating on a glass sightseeing box that...

Can airplane seats keep the peace? «

Can airplane seats keep the peace?

There is no shortage of adjectives one can apply to airline seats: uncomfortable, bulky, cramped, outdated and — from an airline’s point of view — overpriced. It’s no wonder then that many carriers are looking to make a change.

Ditching the screens?

Dr. Mark Hiller, CEO at Recaro Aircraft Seating, notes that accommodating passengers’ personal devices has become an imperative, though one that few manufacturers have yet to address.

“Connectivity is no longer just an option, but a necessity,” he says.

At the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany last month, Recaro unveiled their newest design in economy seating, called the BL3530. The new seat features a tablet PC holder, a “smart pocket” for stowing devices (and protecting them from scratches) and a power supply for charging.

Shedding pounds

Rigorous training for space travel

Experiencing zero gravity on earth The BL3530 follows another vital trend; at 10 kilograms per seat, it’s lighter than its predecessors.

“Fuel costs are extremely high these days — this is just an accepted fact in the industry. As a result, every kilogram counts,” says James Lee, director of Paperclip Design Limited, an award-winning industrial design studio.

The lightest chair on the market is made by relative newcomer Expliseat, a French company that has crafted a model made from titanium and composite materials. It weights just 4 kilograms. The company estimates the weight savings could translate into $500,000 of fuel savings per aircraft per year.

According to Benjamin Saada, Expliseat’s CEO, the CO2 savings are even more significant.

“Every aircraft we equip saves 1,200 tons of CO2 per year. That’s the equivalent of planting 45,000 trees,” he says. “Imagine if every airplane in the world signed on. It could completely change the global fuel emissions.”

2022: Cheap flights, more rail and hands-free cars

Get a convertible

One particularly awkward feature of airline seats is their lack of versatility. They recline, and that’s about as adaptive as they get. Papercilp is hoping to change that with its new Caterpillar Convertible seat, which won the premium class and VIP category at the Crystal Cabin Award this year.

The Caterpillar can be configured as a roomy Premium Economy seat, or converted into a Business Class seat with a lie-flat bed and direct aisle access.

“The core aim is to allow airlines to adjust their cabin capacity based on demand,” says Lee.

“Flights from London to New York might have a big need for Business Class, for example, but if you use the same plane to fly to Phuket, the demand for lie-flat seats could be a lot less. This design allows the airline to adapt,” he adds.

Fuel costs are extremely high these days. Every kilogram counts

James Lee, Paperclip DesignThe armrest of the future?

This is not the first year Paperclip has scooped up an award for its designs. The trademark Paperclip armrest — a dual-level version that grants both parties access — has picked up several accolades over the years.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been a lot of demand for the innovation, and its potential for a more democratic approach to elbow room.

“I’ve showed the design to a lot of manufactures, and they’ll say, ‘oh, that’s nice,’ but there hasn’t been a lot of need for it. The issue is cost,” he says.

Though the concept may not catch on on planes, it could become a feature of seating on the ground.

“It’s more likely to one day see (the armrest) in theaters and cinemas. There are fewer regulations on the ground than in the air, so there’s less resistance to new products,” he says.

Apparently This Matters: Airplane armrest for two

Turned around

Zodiac Aerospace has also been experimenting with an alternate seating layout that could provide passengers with substantially more legroom (a 31-inch pitch instead of the more standard 27-inch). The HD 31 concept would feature two forward-facing seats sandwiching a single backward-facing seat.

According to Pierre-Antony Vastra, an executive vice president at Zodiac, the layout has, “raised a lot of interest.”

“It provides a larger space for the shoulders while enabling the airline to board the same number of passengers,” he says.



Real deals

Travel News

Travel tips

Trip ideas