A comfy Economy seat? Surely not!

Okay, did that get your attention?

I’m currently in Vienna for a meeting, and to get here, rather than trek from home to Heathrow (about 75-90 mins) for a direct flight, I went LCY-ZRH-VIE on Swiss, given I only live 20 minutes on public transport from London City.

The flight from Zurich to Vienna was on a fairly new looking A320, which had a new style of seat that I hadn’t come across before. Like the last Swiss short-haul “space saver” seats, they were made by Recaro, still gave the impression of plenty of room, but definitely addressed one of the niggles on the older seat, which was the crap seat-back storage net.

One thing I noticed very quickly was how firm and thin-looking the seat bottom cushioning was, but at the same time, that it was quite comfortable.

I then realised that underneath the leather covering, it was a mesh-type “suspension” seat, like you might expect to find in an office or work chair, rather than the traditional foam padding. It was only a short flight, but I found it much more comfortable and supportive than a foam cushion. With a normal foam cushion, once it’s compressed, that’s it, it somewhat ceases to be supportive. The mesh doesn’t give way like this, and provided comfortable support behind the knees as well.

Not sure about what it’s like on a longer flight, but I know people who spend hours sat in Aeron chairs, so maybe I’ll ask them. Or does anyone know if Swiss have tried these new seat bottom cushions on their longhaul fleet?

Of course, it probably also weighs less than the equivalent foam padding.

All rather clever really.