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By now, most travellers have become accustomed to the “comfort” of airline economy seating.

Your knees getting absolutely crushed by the hard seat in front of you, your butt getting progressively more numb and let’s not forget the godawful “food” they serve on those unsanitary tray tables — ah, the joy.

During your flights, you’ve probably found solace in this simple fact: There’s no way they could make this any worse than it is right now.

Yeah, well, about that

Airbus filed a patent earlier this year, displaying a new seating design concept that will give you nightmares. Essentially, passengers are stacked on top of each other to maximize the use of all available space.

To make the design work, airplanes would ditch the overhead compartment that runs along the centre of the cabin and replace it with a “mezzanine seating area” — how fancy!

“In modern means of transport, in particular in aircraft, it is very important from an economic point of view to make optimum use of the available space in a passenger cabin,” Airbus wrote in the patent application. “Passenger cabins are therefore fitted with as many rows of passenger seats as possible, which are positioned with as little space between them as possible.

See? Nice. And. Cozy. But don’t worry, Airbus promises a “high-level of comfort” for all passengers. But one look at some of the company concept art tells a different story.

Concept Airbus Airbus

Totally screams “high-level of comfort,” doesn’t it?

Before you panic too much, just remember that concepts like these are the norm for aerospace companies. Just because Airbus filed this patent does not mean they’re going to move forward with this design.

At least not immediately. So fear not. For now.

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