Fast Company

Conferences


Third Aircraft Interior Innovations 2007
November 6-8
Hamburg, Germany

At the Aircraft Interiors gathering, eggheads who know ergonomics and marketers who know mood lighting share prescriptions for making air travel more bearable. Much of the focus will be on coddling premium fliers; with Airbus's A380 rolling out at last, airlines are exploring luxe options for the jumbo jet's first- and business-class cabins (see below). But a couple of new designs are meant to smooth the ride in coach. Lufthansa has commissioned sculpted seats that allow more shoulder space, while conference chairman Peter Vink gave us a sneak peek at the Recaro, a seat he's endorsing that's being installed on KLM 's new-generation Boeing 737s. It's built around the idea that less slouching means less cramping. "By making the seat-back support at knee level thinner," he explains, "the seat gives more knee space in the row behind you, and the back support is still very comfortable."

If a little more legroom seems scant progress, it might help to know that your discomfort may be in part psychological. Vink will present research that correlates passengers' reported comfort with cabin staff's professionalism. Says Vink: "Pilots who inform passengers very well and flight attendants who have a good-service attitude [make] comfort ratings significantly higher."

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