The World’s Best Airline Passenger Seat: Introducing The Butterfly - Simple Flying


Premium economy has become the new go-to product for airlines looking to add flexibility to their fare tiers. While plenty of investment has gone into improving this cabin, there’s a new product on the horizon that could change the game in the future. The Butterfly seat concept would allow airlines to offer both an international business class product and a typical premium economy standard, all in the very same seat. Here’s what you need to know.

Butterfly seat
The Butterfly could provide some fantastic flexibility in narrowbody aircraft. Photo: Paperclip Design

The beauty of premium economy

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to Joe Leader, CEO of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) for our podcast. During the conversation, our attention turned to the newest cabin in the skies – premium economy. Both Joe and I agreed that this is a crucial part of the future cabin matrix, with Joe adding,

“The gap between economy seats and business class seats… there’s too much of a price gap there. There need to be different levels passengers can afford that are in the middle, and what I like about premium economy. It’s pretty much what business class was flying internationally ten or twenty years ago.”


Premium economy has allowed airlines to offer more than just a bit more legroom. Increasingly, this product is becoming more of a standalone fare tier, with its own cabin, improved seat hardware, and even upgraded inflight services.

United Airlines' Premium economySource…