As budget airlines scramble for ways to squeeze more passengers into planes — some have proposed standing-room only tickets — an Italian design firm has what it thinks is a good compromise: a saddle-type seat that angles passengers’ legs beneath them so that rows can be 25 percent closer together. Does the budget seat offer a viable way for frequent fliers to reduce their carbon footprint?

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You can guess how most people are responding to the so-called SkyRider seat, which will be formally launched at a trade show next week. Wired called the budget seating “cattle class” — a surly spin on Aviointeriors director Dominique Menoud’s allusion to cowboys’ long days in the saddle. He suggests that the seat could be comfortable for flights up to three hours long, however the seat only allows one position, so for flights longer than that it would undeniably be sheer torture.

But, all grumbling aside, flying is an extremely carbon-intensive endeavor — and one that many people who are otherwise green can’t avoid. Is it worth the sacrifice of sitting like sardines in a can to shrink your eco-impact — and save some cash — on shorter flights?

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Via Wired

Photos © Aviointeriors