A double-decker plane design offers a glimpse into the potential future of flying — and it looks like a tight squeeze.
The pioneering concept would cram in more passengers while doing away with hand luggage compartments and does in fact feature more legroom.
It features a dual-level seat cabin, with each row alternating between on-floor seating, and seats elevated a few metres above ground.
The claustrophobic design is by 21-year-old Spanish student Alejandro Núñez Vicente, who says it can work on any medium to large plane.
"At the moment, this is an internal student-led university project which still hasn't been formally presented to airlines," he told CNN.
"However, some companies in the aerospace sector have already shown interest in the Chaise Longue Economy Seat project, presenting possible chances for future collaborations."
Alejandro got the idea of elevating the next row of seats after getting fed up of not having enough leg room on flights to Netherlands where he studies at TU Delft University.
Luggage would be stored in compartments under the seat, and the design also offers more recline angles, and an adjustable back-rest and deployable neck-rest, to offer further comfort.
It has been shortlisted on Crystal Cabin Awards Judges' Choice shortlist.
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Mr Vicente said: "The lower row has the advantage of passengers having the lounge experience of a couch by stretching the legs, whilst the upper row provides an SUV experience, making it possible for instance to cross the legs due to the increased leg room and overall living space.
"The current economy class is often limited to a single or slightly reclined position that impedes the user from having a comfortable and relaxing flight experience.
"As it gives more space between passengers, and positions them at different heights, it is more suitable for flights in pandemic times."
Plus, the seat pieces are designed to be easily movable, allowing a commercial aircraft to be converted into cargo use.
Crystal Cabin Awards representative Lukas Kaestner said: "Of course, the likelihood of, say, double-decker seats and capsules really taking flight in the next years is still slim.
"But we shouldn't underestimate the trend- and agenda-setting ability of such concepts for aviation as an industry."
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