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Air travel takes another step backward (literally)

Think flying in economy is uncomfortable now? Wait until you fly backward. Ten airlines are considering adding rear-facing seats to their economy sections, according to a report from TimesOnline, a U.K.-based news website.

Backward seating would allow airlines to add up to 50 seats and increase seat pitch by four inches. “The traditional seating layout is constrained by people sitting shoulder-to-shoulder. This typically means leaving a two-inch gap between seats for an armrest. Under the new layout, one person’s shoulders would be alongside his neighbor’s knees, removing a gap,” says the TimesOnline report.

More room may mean a loss of privacy, as passengers will face each other—inviting a potentially awkward game of avoiding eye contact for the duration of the flight.

As someone who gets motion sickness just thinking about boarding a plane, I’m not thrilled by the prospect of flying backwards. Though the idea is couched as offering passengers more space, I suspect the airlines are excited by the idea of packing in 50 more paying passengers.

Let’s just hope this idea goes the way of standing-room-only sections.

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