Social Distancing in Economy Class Just A Startup Away

Zephyr airline seats

A San Francisco startup has unveiled what they’re calling the “world’s first lie-flat airline seat for Economy Class travelers to sleep and social distance.”

The Zephyr Seat provides the most affordable way to sleep and social distance on international flights, permanently making air travel more healthy and comfortable for all travelers.”

— Jeffrey O’Neill, Founder, Zephyr Aerospace

Since American Airlines recently announced they were going to toss social distancing out the window in favor of rescuing their sagging bottom line, the announcement from Zephyr Aerospace comes as great news. The company has introduced a new social distancing-compliant airline seat and bed combo for premium economy passengers.

For decades, lie-flat seating has been the indulgence of business and first-class travelers. Now fresh innovation can bring the same concept to economy plus, if only greedy airlines who have been happily stuffing us into sardine-can sized seats for years can be shown the error of their ways.

Zephyr says that their brand new airline seating concept transforms the seats in premium economy class on wide-body aircraft into lie-flat beds. The idea, still in the concept phase, could revolutionize the in-flight experience as airlines encourage people to travel again.

The world’s first lie-flat “double-decker” seating concept for premium economy class passengers offers a comfortable bed with all-aisle access in a 2-4-2 configuration — the same density as existing premium economy set-ups on 90 percent of airlines worldwide. Zephyr says it’s the cheapest way to sleep on long-distance commercial flights.

The non-mechanical sleep seats have limited movable fixtures and are made with the highest standard lightweight composite materials, reducing direct maintenance costs for airlines. A telescopic ladder provides quick and easy access to the upper area and can be removed after boarding.

The drop-down footwell cover increases personal space in each seat, which allows for multiple lie-flat positions. There’s even space for small children and families to lie next to each other (dependent on an airline’s social distancing rules). Airlines can retrofit these sleep seats between a 38-42” seat pitch based on their preferences and industry standards and increase ancillary revenue.

“Simply put, the Zephyr Seat offers travelers exactly what they want when they fly – privacy and personal space – at the most affordable price,” says Zephyr Seat.

Zephyr is crowdsourcing early financing. You can find out more about it here. ◊

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