No More Lost Seats in Aviation: 3 Seating Solutions to Consider

When people are in a public space, how do they choose where to sit?

Whether we are picking a seat for a study session, meeting a friend for coffee, or looking for the best place to wait for our next flight, there are several factors that typically determine which seat we pick.

It’s no secret that our primary criteria often is: Where can I sit that isn’t right next to someone I don’t know?

Even when we know that we are technically “safe” when we sit by a stranger, this experience can cause us to feel uneasy and uncomfortable, affecting our productivity and experience.

While you may be conscious of some of the factors that go into picking the ideal seat, what you might not know is how these factors are influenced by human behavior.

Consider the following scenario with airport furniture

You arrive at your next gate with your carry-on in tow. You survey the available seating:

In this illustration, if the seats that are not marked with an “x” are taken, the seats marked with an “x” often are lost.


When faced with the potential of having to sit next to a total stranger, we tend to look for alternate options. This relates to the “personal bubble” we naturally desire to have as humans. A stranger sitting next to you feels like an infiltration of your personal space and can even be interpreted in our body as a threat. No one wants a stranger close enough that they can read your text messages over your shoulder, and the anxiety starts to creep up when we have no other option.

As travelers begin picking seats, they will typically sit with a buffer seat between their group and another group or individual. While those empty seats may eventually fill up, as they do people are likely to become irritated quicker, more impatient, and more stressed—all emotions that you want to avoid in how you design your public space!

But this leads to a dilemma when selecting furniture for a public space like an airport: How do you provide adequate seating while still providing a personal bubble?

Maximizing Privacy. Minimal Footprint.

Individual lounge seating configuration in airport terminal

Traditional furniture solutions for maximum comfort and privacy take up a large footprint, which is a primary reason why airports have opted for the utility of beam seating over comfort. While this approach may help us hit our seating quotas, looking deeper shows us this doesn’t necessarily equal more seats functionally available or improve guest satisfaction.

As customer experience has rightfully received more recognition in aviation design in recent years, it’s important that we consider new opportunities to reduce stress and improve the travel experience. 

There are many modern solutions our team has been working on that can provide a more comfortable seating experience without taking up a significant amount of floor space. These solutions can also provide all the amenities the modern traveler is searching for from a small space for working or relaxing to integrated power solutions to charge their devices.

Modern Airport Seating From Agati

We’ve designed our solutions based on human behavior in public spaces. This means overcoming lost, unused seats and providing options that maintain your personal bubble so travelers can wait in comfort. This can be done through staggering seating, adding partitions, or even wrapping the back around the user to maximize the feeling of security.

#1: The Orb Lounge wraps around guests like a baseball glove. Its organic, circular shapes lend creativity to your floor plan in airport terminals or any public space. The Orb maximizes your personal bubble and is extremely durable. Learn more here.

Groupings of three circular lounge chairs around stone tables

#2: The Gee Aviation Pinwheel is one of our most popular airport solutions for providing each traveler with a sense of privacy while also optionally giving each guest their own tablespace, power access, and a clear line of sight. This space-saving solution meets both guests’ needs and any architectural space constraint needs. Learn more here.

#3: The Gee Cove offers a comfortable lounge chair, acoustic panel walls, charging options, and workspace. The acoustic panel walls reduce visual and auditory distractions and create a private, serene space along travelers’ journeys. Learn more here.

Pinwheel lounge seats with walls and stone table top arms Airport Cluster Seating for 8 people with walls

We put extensive research into our airport seating and furniture designs to avoid lost seats and give your patrons the options they are searching for.

Want to brainstorm how to incorporate this concept in your airport? Talk with a furniture expert today >>