This company wants you to travel 'standing' on your flight—and it could save you money


Sometimes it feels like airlines have already stripped everything they can from your Basic Economy seat to make it cheaper — the space is cramped and there are no amenities, sometimes you don't even get space in the overhead bin

But it seems there's at least one thing left they can take away: One day you might not sit at all.

Italian seat manufacturer Avioninteriors recently debuted the concept of "standing seats."

With the design, called SkyRider 2.0, passengers would actually be held upright by a small, padded support saddle (that looks akin to a slightly bigger and softer bike seat). It's connected to a pole attached to both the ceiling and floor, and there is also back support.

According to the company, the contraption "ensures an increased upright passenger position, allowing installation of the seat at a reduced pitch." Pitch is the distance between your seat and the one in front of you, and the average economy seat in the U.S. already doesn't leave that much wiggle room at 31 to 32 inches. 

Avioninteriors has not yet disclosed how much smaller that space will get with standing seats, but the design is meant to help airlines squeeze 20 percent more passengers onto a plane by allowing for an "ultra-high density" of people in the cabin, according to the company. The seats also require minimal maintenance because of a reduced number of components, according to Avioninteriors' website. All that could mean increased profit for airlines.

But it's unclear how much airfare passengers would be able to save by purchasing standing seats, and experts aren't optimistic about the seats' success.

"If the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] is satisfied in some bizarre way that standing is not a safety problem, and you have an unlimited supply of people who put no premium in comfort whatsoever, sure, but don't count on it," aviation expert Richard Aboulafia of Teal Group tells CNBC Make It.

"It's dysfunctional."

Aboulafia also doesn't believe any savings would be enough of a benefit.

"If an airline did offer this sort of seat, what would it do for the passenger price-wise? There are already a lot of ultra-low-cost airfares out there from companies like Southwest. Let's assume with SkyRider [2.0] you're taking 15% off seats. It's not that much money for cheap fares.

"How many people are really going to say, 'wow, I'm saving $10 for standing for two hours....' How many of these people are out there?"

Aboulafia adds, "Being in the aircraft business, we haven't heard a lot about these seats, for what that's worth."

Avioninteriors did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It's request for comment. 

The SkyRider 2.0 is the second "saddle-style" seat developed by Avioninteriors. The original SkyRider, designed in 2010, was still bare bones but allowed for a slightly more seated position.

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