The cargo area on the lower deck of an airplane is used for baggage storage, occasional crew rest, or catering trolley stowage.
But a study has shown that the cargo area is highly underutilized; only about 37% of the cargo area is being used nowadays. Reasons could be:
- More passengers are travelling on budget airlines and are limiting their luggage to avoid a heavy charge on checked baggage.
- More passengers are travelling light to avoid the endless wait to spot the luggage among the countless bags at the luggage claim area.
To make better use of the underused cargo area, French aircraft manufacturer Zodiac Aerospace has filed a patent for a new type of windowless aeroplane which will have passenger seating in the baggage hold area.
The new lower deck with a staircase at both the ends will be able to fit around 110 passengers.
Windows will be replaced by gigantic video screens streaming live scenes by cameras mounted on the exterior the plane.
The lower deck could feature food or drink vending machines and side bins for luggage storage.