While some jets may stay in service for decades, it seems like the seats inside those planes are constantly changing — being shuffled around, rebranded, removed, replaced. Thus, someone out there is making a living off this continual turnover of those seats you hate to sit in.
In the video above, the folks at Bloomberg pay a visit to Interface Aviation, Inc., in California, one of only about a half-dozen U.S. firms that refurbish and repair old airline seats.
For all the old seats stacked floor-to-ceiling at the Interface warehouse, there are only a dozen people working there.
“Most of these guys have been here 15 years or more,” explains the company’s director of sales. “They know the seats pretty good.”
He says that the company charges a few thousand dollars to refurbish a typical row of three seats, but explains that the cost of a new airplane seat is five or six times that of a refurbed one.
“We often modify older seats up to new standards,” he adds.
With all the recent airline mergers, many planes have had to get their entire interiors redone to match the look and feel of the new ownership. The Interface sales director says that can easily run up a bill in the six figures for a single plane.
“You can easily spend a lot more than that,” he tells Bloomberg. “Leather would be three times the price.”