LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Flying is proving to be stressful and uncomfortable every day, especially after recent high-profile confrontations that have created a public relations nightmare for several airlines.
But tension in airplane cabins isn't just restricted to interacting with personnel or other passengers.
While it’s difficult to control human behavior and reactions, engineers from a Lakewood firm hope to make the interior of an aircraft more comfortable and calm, possibly helping to reduce stress which could contribute to outbursts from passengers.
"We like to think we're a stress reduction company," said Kevin Van Liere, president of Molon Labe.
The Lakewood company has designed a new airline seat to help create a more spacious feeling in the aircraft cabin. Known as the “side slip” seat, the seat can slide out the aisle, yet extend into place to create an additional seat.
"It's a better experience when you walk on and you see lots of space, rather than this narrow tight gap you're supposed to squeeze yourself through," he said.
Another unique feature is staggered seating. The middle seat is set back a few inches, allowing for more room for the center seat passenger.
"We've got armrests for both people and it's obvious as to who gets what,” he said. Taller passengers may also find more comfort since they’re not knee to knee.
"Can an airline seat really bring calm into an airline cabin?” asked Denver7 reporter Marc Stewart.
“I think that when you walk on the plane and you see a better experience, that's your first reaction and it makes all the difference in the world to see that this may make my life better," said Van Liere.
Van Liere expects to see the seats on an airline flight starting next year.
The seats are manufactured in Lakewood. The company expects to hire 300 people in the next three to five years.