Aircraft seat - Flugzeugsitz

Business class aircraft seat (Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300)

Aircraft seats or aircraft armchairs are seating furniture anchored on rails on the floor of an aircraft . The seats are either upholstered with textiles or leather. They are differently comfortable depending on the equipment (in commercial air traffic, depending on the booking class ) and are arranged in rows next to and behind one another in the cabins . Depending on the duration of the flight, aircraft seats have to fulfill a number of tasks and are therefore equipped with corresponding functions.

Seating arrangement

1-1 arrangement in a Dornier Do-228
Eight seats (foreground) or ten seats (background) per row in a British Airways Boeing 747
Seat marking at Song
Sideways sliding aisle seat to enlarge the aisle while getting in and out

The arrangement of the rows of seats depends primarily on the inside width of the aircraft fuselage, but also on the dimensions of the seats. Common arrangements range from 1-1 (one seat, aisle, one seat) in very small machines to 3-4-3 in the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 . Asymmetrical arrangements are rare and actually only appear as 1-2 or 2-3.

As a rule, they are individually identified alphanumerically, which means firstly numbered in series and secondly for the position alongside with a letter and labeled, e.g. B. 48 A (row 48, in flight direction the first place in this row). Some airlines (e.g. Lufthansa and Condor) do not label the 13th row of seats with the number 13 . Instead, row 12 is followed by row 14. This is due to the fact that the number 13 is viewed as an unlucky number in some regions of the world. The letters are not always assigned from left to right. So seat 31A can be right next to 31C. To avoid confusion with the letter J, the letter I is usually not used.

Herringbone arrangement in a Boeing 777

In higher transport classes, fewer seats are usually installed per row than in Economy Class because of the larger seat widths. In some cases the seats there are not strictly aligned with the longitudinal axis of the aircraft, but at an angle to it ( herringbone arrangement ). This ensures that each seat can be reached from the aisle without crossing the footwell of another seat.

Usually, all seats for travelers are always attached in the direction of flight , ie there are no seats arranged opposite one another, as is the case, for example, in large buses. However, British Airways introduced new seats in its Business Class, in which passengers sometimes sit against the direction of flight. Some seats for flight attendants are also positioned against the direction of flight, so that passengers and overhead lockers can be kept in view during take-off or landing.


Screen with controls ( Airbus A340 -600 of Thai )

In commercial aviation, there is a panel above the seats with switches, reading lamps and ventilation openings. Above - along the direction of flight - there are open / foldable compartments ( bulkheads ) for storing hand luggage . These must be shared with other passengers and must be closed for take-offs and landings for safety reasons. Litter bins are usually only available in the aisles near the galley . For reasons of hygiene, the headrests are now covered with an anti-macassar as standard .

On the previous seat there is usually a pocket for magazines etc. and a fold-up / fold-down tray for eating or reading. Modern long-haul aircraft also have a small screen on the back of the front seat with switches for watching films or listening to music ( in-flight entertainment ). If the seat is in front of a wall, these elements are built into the wall in front of the seat or on the armrest.

In economy class, passengers have to share the armrest with each other if they have neighbors to their side. In the armrest there are often controls for the individual adjustment of the inclination, a pull-out ashtray and sometimes also brackets for a wired remote control of the screen in the front seat.


The seat spacing is defined as the distance between the corresponding parts of two seats arranged one behind the other; depending on the class of transport on intercontinental flights, it is between about 79 cm [1]and more than 2 meters. Legroom, the distance between the front edge of the seat and the backrest of the front seat or to a wall at the front are important for the feeling of comfort; The critical factor is the space for the knees. A large seat spacing makes it possible to tilt the backrest far back and thus achieve a comfortable sleeping position, in extreme cases a horizontal surface. Furthermore, the distance to the neighbor, the angle of inclination and the seat width are decisive for the comfort of an aircraft seat. For the feet, an adjustable footrest, which is located under the front seat, is sometimes provided.


Prototype of standing seats in the passenger cabin

For safety reasons, when instructed by the pilot, passengers must strap themselves in, usually by signal, and so must the staff during take-offs and landings. This belt has a center lock and is guided around the pelvis.

In the event of a plane crash or an emergency landing , it is recommended to use the brace position . This reduces the force of an impact to a minimum. [2]

A life jacket for ditching is usually stowed under or above the seats , and sometimes the seat pad also serves as a float.

The covers (textile, synthetic leather, leather) are made of fire-retardant material.


Seat reservations are also common for air travel . Many travel agencies have a seating plan for an aircraft type, for example to reserve a window seat. The latter is popular not only for the view, but also for the ability to lean on while sleeping. Seats at emergency exits are sometimes given preference to regular customers or only at an additional cost. This is mostly due to the greater legroom on these seats.

An exception to the many low cost airlines practiced seating open , ie is the free seating, the after -served basis ( come first-, served-first ) works. In some cases, however, you can reserve a certain seat with the low-cost airlines for an additional charge or buy the privilege of belonging to the first boarding group.


The third largest aircraft seat manufacturer in the world [3] is the German company Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG [4] . Another provider is the Airbus subsidiary Sogerma .

Individual evidence

  1. Photo gallery - Photo 15 - Lufthansa A380: First scheduled flight to Tokyo. In: Spiegel Online photo gallery. May 19, 2010, accessed June 9, 2018 .
  2.,hkrdkweqxs3xts4t~cm.asp ( Memento from February 6, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG - Press release of April 17, 2007 ( Memento of September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  4. Recaro Aircraft Seating GmbH & Co. KG


Commons : Airplane Seat - Album with pictures, videos and audio files