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  • Face to face -

    (EMAILWIRE.COM, September 25, 2009 ) Avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transport has become a way of life for many city dwellers, sadly especially in London, and now airlines are suggesting a tube-esque set up on their flights – with rows of seats facing each other rather than sitting behind others – something industry bods say could lead to cheaper travel…

    A new dawn is being heralded in the airline industry, with an aircraft design being developed here in the United Kingdom in which passengers sit facing each other in rows.

    As the new design would allow 50 per cent more passengers to be crammed onto the plane, it would also mean that seats were up to a third cheaper. Which can’t be bad, can it?

    Well, even though the plans are only being aimed at passengers on short-haul flights, I’m still not convinced that I fancy spending a couple of hours surreptitiously avoiding the eyes of the person opposite me. I can’t help it- I’m just too English for my own good.

    I can imagine this kind of set up going down well in America, Australia or New Zealand, but us Brits are often very reserved and the thought of being engaged in conversation with a stranger en route somewhere and then being trapped opposite them once small talk runs out strikes fear into our hearts.

    And that’s not all – not only would we be facing other passengers, the seats would be flip-down with their backs to the window rather than padded recliners like we currently have.

    You’d think the leg room would be better though - after all, how close are they going to make us sit? Well, the design, created by UK based Design Q, also prevents the use of food trolleys as the aisles would be too narrow to allow them to pass by. So I think that answers your question.

    Plus there wouldn’t be any view out of the window.

    The company said it is loosely based on the way some soldiers travel to battle zones and is aimed at passengers on short trips where comfort is less important than a cheap flight.

    The design is also said to make the plans more fuel efficient and lighter.

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