Beds

For the many travelers who can’t sleep on planes but also can’t afford an upgrade to business class, a new economy-class bed/seat design could revolutionize the way they travel. Italy-based seat manufacturer Geven  presented its Piuma Sofa — a concept that would turn economy-class seats into a lie-flat bed — at the Aircraft Interiors Expo, reports Flightglobal.

The “sofa” effect is created by detaching the headrest from the top of the seat and affixing it to the front of the seat cushion. When all three or four seats in a row are given the same layout, the result is a bed that stretches across the seats, wide enough for up to two adults. Check out the video below to see how it works:

Geven envisions the concept as a way for airlines to make extra money. The passenger will have more options now.  Not just pay a fee at check-in to upgrade themselves to a premium economy seat with extra legroom, they could also pay $200 or so to move to an empty row fitted with the Piuma Sofa. The airline wins by monetizing unsold seats, and the flier wins by getting a good night’s sleep on a long flight.

Marketing and sales manager Trevor Lambert – who came up with the concept – says that because the design does not rely on an extending footrest the solution also does not interfere with legroom or under-seat storage, and keeps the part count low. Another advantage is that there is no licence fee for other airlines to pay.

As Geven puts it: “The sofa creates no extra thickness to seat pans, does not alter seat comfort, does not add to or pose any obstruction to routine cleaning and adds no great amount of extra weight.”

The Sofa version of Geven’s Piuma seat is currently undergoing certification, but as the seatback structure is similar to the other Piuma seat versions, the company doesn’t expect any major issues.