We're Already Reimagining Post-COVID Air Travel

Someday, when this is all over… The world is going to be totally different, if we're lucky. While we're still in the early days of the first wave of COVID-19, some policy wonks and activists are already pressing for ways to change the systems we live within, whether it's environmental, political, economic, or much more.

One thing we're definitely going to have to change is how we move through the world, especially when considering health (and disease vectors). Maybe we'll drive less and bike more, sure, but we'll also still need to travel long distances from time to time — and much as we like trains, we can't go overland everywhere.

Some Italian designers are already on the job. Enter Avio Interiors, a Naples-based firm with a focus on reimagining flight. This week, the company posted two proposals for allowing customers distance and protection while still maximizing space and seating on an airplane. First, meet the Janus Seat, which interrupts the normal three-person row by reversing the middle seat and encasing it in hard plastic. MarketWatch has an overhead view.

That involves a lot of retrofitting, though, and more than a little disassembling of plane interiors. A number of airlines are grounding portions of their fleets, given the rapid decrease in demand for flights, but assuming the Janus Seat is too big of an investment, Avio has another option on offer: the Glassafe kit. If installing a small barrier between airplane seats isn't the flying hack we've been waiting for our entire lives, we'll take it anyway.