I came across this video on YouTube from 2007 showcasing the “Freedom Economy Seat” manufactured by Premium Aircraft Interior Group. The concept of rear facing seats in Business Class is basically a win-win situation for airlines and passengers alike, whereby the airline can offer flat beds without sacrificing sacred cabin space. But what about coach?
It’s a pretty interesting concept, but I suppose it never really took off given we haven’t seen it introduced on any airline. I’ve flown United Airlines’ rear-facing Business Class seats quite a few times now, and my only real complaint is that you end up looking across the aisle at someone else facing your direction. It was initially a bit annoying, but I’m fairly used to it now. This economy configuration, however, might just be too close for comfort. At about 2:36 to 2:40 in the video, there appear to be privacy shields available to help combat this problem, but perhaps not well enough.