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The Passenger-Friendly Way this Independent Designer Would Approach Vertical Cabins

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I’ve written about Olivier Grégoire’s proposal for a vertical cabin design previously on Skift.

He first approached me in December of last year with a unique concept to make vertical cabin design work around a passenger needs for space and privacy during long haul flights.

Grégoire has since sent me a link to a video he produced which illustrates more clearly how the design would work. He proposes the cabin concept for the A350 aircraft.

Reuters has recently confirmed the information I reported on from Airbus back in 2014, when the A350 first debuted that Airbus would consider a higher-density A350, especially in Asia where Airbus expects high demand.

So it’s a good time to think about more humane ways to get 400 people onboard.

Grégoire is not the only designer who believes horizontal layouts of seats will lead to insufferable conditions on ultra-long haul flights. A number of designers in the industry have emphasised that 3D seating is the way forward, even for premium cabins.

Even Airbus has considered stacking seats vertically to alleviate discomfort. But I believe Grégoire’s design is unique, elegant, and passenger friendly.

His design would give Economy passengers far more room than they could expect to get in today’s Economy cabins and greater separation from passengers around them.

  • Increased pitch (to 42 inches)
  • A better seat recline angle (35° instead of 15°).
  • Ease of access and evacuation, resulting from three aisles.
  • Improved relative privacy for passengers, with individual room for storage of carry-on items.

It’s also compelling that Olivier does not work in the aviation industry. In fact, he designs bedding–which might explain his focus on removing pain points.

That an objective third-party designer also believes vertical lay-outs are the way going forward, should at least make us a bit more open minded about this possibility. No initial design proposal is perfect, but Grégoire has really thought this through.

While his design concept is not a Crystal Cabin Award nominee–as he has not yet submitted it for review by the judges–I have suggested that Grégoire present a more detailed proposal for next year’s competition.

One of the best things about the Crystal Cabin Awards is that it not only encourages companies within aviation to think beyond conventional designs and propose new solutions, but it also welcomes perspectives from independent designers, companies, and educational institutions.

If you have the next great idea which could make aviation better for all of us, consider submitting it for review.

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2 Replies to “The Passenger-Friendly Way this Independent Designer Would Approach Vertical Cabins”

  1. Great concept. Good to have creative ideas from outside the industry. I suppose the challenge would be serving meals since the service trolley would not be able to go up the stairs. Maybe a ramp on one of the ends would work.

  2. Yes, you’re right. He visualises this with an alternative form of food delivery. Like all concepts, it will need ironing out, but it’s nice having people inspired enough by aviation to want to come up with solutions to tomorrow’s problems. Thanks contributing! It’s great to have engaged readers share their thoughts. 🙂 Marisa

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