It's about an airline seat called the "SkyRider", which is designed to cram a passenger into only 23 inches, being demonstrated at an airline industry conference.
There's this wonderful quote in the article:
The airline industry had nearly recovered from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks when the recession hit in 2007, dramatically cutting demand, particularly among business travelers who began flying less, booking economy-class seats and staying in cheaper hotels.
Hmm. The recession could be the cause, or perhaps the cause is that most people don't find flying enjoyable, and that in many cases flying isn't any faster than driving? I was talking with a co-worker from another facility, who was in Wichita for a meeting. He had to fly back to Columbus, OH, and it would take him 10 hours to do so. Look at this map.
Google is pretty conservative about its time estimates, and THEY have it being 14 hours to drive. Now, you might argue that, given 14 hours driving vs. 4 hours flying and a 6 hour layover, flying would be preferable. But consider how much bull you have to put up with flying. Consider that driving, you can stop in KC for BBQ, stop in St. Louis at the Arch, and that you WON'T have your trip canceled mid-way because of weather.
Now the suppliers for the airlines are suggesting I make the whole trip damn near standing, crammed in like a sardine. And they wonder why people don't want to fly.
1) the suppliers are stupid, the airlines are not stupid, and this will go nowhere.
2) The suppliers are stupid, the airlines are stupid, they will adopt this, and then wonder why their brand-new "densified" planes are empty.
3) The airlines are smart, and are getting this sort of thing shown so they can say "See, we *care* about you, and we didn't adopt this, because we know you have a choice, and we want you to want to fly with us."
I just don't know which is true.