It’s so simple and yet, it seems to make so much sense. By George, it’s an adjustable armrest concept from Boeing that delivers flexible seat-width, allowing airlines to tailor the seating experience for passengers.
Explaining its design in a recently approved patent application, Boeing says the aircraft seat assembly “can be manually or automatically adjusted based on factors, such as purchase of additional seat width by an individual passenger or passengers, overall ticket sales associated with the aircraft, or other factors.”
Okay, airlines’ distribution systems might not want to immediately play nicely with such a concept. But consider the fact that many European airlines already block off use of the middle seat at the pointy end of economy class for business class passengers. Under Boeing’s design, pictured above, they could simply slide the middle armrests together and create two wide business class seats.
Boeing notes that at present, airlines’ ability to vary legroom on aircraft is limited, and variations are made infrequently due to the time associated with such reconfigurations. “Thus, advances in passenger comfort are still needed,” it says. Indeed they are!