Here’s The Reason Behind Most Airplane Seats Being Blue

by Sanjana Shenoy
Here’s The Reason Behind Most Airplane Seats Being Blue
Picture Shoots:
According to Angela Wright author of The Beginner’s Guide to Colour Psychology, the colour blue evokes a sense of trust, efficiency, coolness, serenity, reflection and calm. It’s closely associated with these qualities, and this is one of the main reasons why most airplanes prefer to have their cabin seats in shades of blue. The lead aviation designer and co-founder at Priestman Goode, Nigel Goode has been delivering aircraft interiors for airlines since the past 3 decades. And she feels that the airline’s interiors are designed to create a pleasant environment and to maximize the comfort of the passengers, apart from making the brand name more recognizable.

She has stated that it’s all about making the travel experience less stressful and blue evokes a feeling of calm. When you visit the beach and watch the blue waters splashing across the shore, the sounds, sight and the blue waters do make you feel calm. And when you stare at the expansive blue sky adorned with white fluffy clouds, you feel a sense of serenity. It’s not a coincidence, there is definitely a reason why blue is so etched as a colour in our minds and somehow makes us feel safe and calm.

What’s More?

Nigel Goode then went on to add that the main aim of choosing this colour for airplane seats, is to create a home-like relaxing feel. Blue as a colour for aircraft emerged decades ago and is still used by older airlines, like British Airways. Blue is a colour which is a corporate shade, it’s not conflicting and its conservative, giving passengers a trustworthy and safe feeling. According to studies conducted by Psychology Today in 2014, around 90% of spontaneous judgements about products are made on the basis of colour alone. When it comes to colours, here are The 9 Most Colourful Beaches In The World

In the 1970s and 1980s, some airlines actually changed the colour of their seats to red. It was analysed that the passengers got increasingly agitated and aggressive, due to which they had to change the seats back to blue. Maybe that’s why the colour red is used during bullfights to provoke the bulls and agitate them towards a fight. Apart from the psychological reason behind the colour blue being used for the interior of aircraft, there is also a practical thought gone into this. Dirt, stains and scraps are less visible on the colour blue, so the seats can be used for a longer period of time as compared to lighter coloured upholstery.

Picture Credits:

Lighting and Fabric In Airplanes

British interior designer Jane Priestman stated that the psychological power of colour and control of lighting can influence the mood of people. And she has quoted this after conducting researches at airport and railway stations. She has also said that lighting and colour are particularly important in the built environment. And you thought only photographers cared about lighting and colour? Well, you will be surprised to know that the cabin lighting is fixed in a certain shade to facilitate a stress-free atmosphere for passengers. And there is definitely a science behind the colour, lighting and fabric used in the aircraft. The crew works with a lot of  CMF (colour, materials and finish) specialists who look at different textiles, colours and lighting before selecting the most restful yet interesting one. Did you know Qantas Dreamliner Lands World’s Longest Commercial Flight?

And when it comes to the fabric used in the aircraft seats you might often notice a dark blue coloured patterned one. This is a popular choice to mask the wear and tear of the fabric and it’s also easy to maintain. Light coloured fabric might be used for business class seats as fewer people travel by this class, so its easier to maintain the upholstery. When it comes to domestic flights or shorter duration flights, you might find your seats to be made of artificial leather. It’s easy to clean off stains from this as its wearproof. So the next time you travel by airplane, you might find yourself consciously feeling much more relaxed and at ease. Which makes me wonder the popular phrase ‘feeling blue’ might be misleading. As it means a person is feeling low or sad, but in actuality, the colour blue evokes a sense of calm and positivity. That’s titbit is for another day.