Why Are Airplane Seats Blue?

by SharonKurheg

Have you ever noticed that, regardless of what airline you use, the seats are usually some shade of blue?

Granted, they may have a little splurt of color, like red or gray or yellow, but for the most part, they’re blue. And usually a pretty dark blue, at that.

In fact, if you go searching, you’ll only find very few airlines that have seats that aren’t blue. The Sukhoi Superjet‘s seats are gray with a strip of blue in them. SWISS’s Bombardier’s CS100 seats are grayish-white. And, of course, Virgin has planes with black seats, white seats or red seats (as well as purple lighting), because Richard Branson. πŸ˜‰

But otherwise, chances are good that if you go on a plane, your seat will be blue. What’s up with that?

Not surprisingly, it’s another one of the little mind games that airports and airlines play. These are some that we’ve discussed in the past:

The blue seats are another way to help people stay calm.

The people who maintain the Color Psychology website say:

Blue is a color that suggests peace. The color of the calm sea and clear sky are both blue which helps promote inner serenity, calm, and clarity. Blue can also slow your heart rate and breathing, making it the perfect color to choose when mediating and relaxing.

Blue also has a psychological push for loyalty and trust and is generally considered a “non-threatening” color.

When you’re 35,000 feet, you want people to be as calm as possible and trust their cabin crew. So…blue it is!

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

10 comments

Claude Pitts December 2, 2019 - 9:02 pm

Cool article, thanks πŸ™‚

Reply
SharonKurheg December 2, 2019 - 9:04 pm

You’re welcome. If you don’t mind sharing it, we’d certainly appreciate it! πŸ˜‰

Reply
Daniel December 4, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Airplane Seat designer here, dress cover colors are selected to keep passengers calm, yes.
BUT that’s not the main reason of why seats are certain color, in fact, airlines are the ones that select their seat colors based on the airline design language, and it’s also depending on the culture of each region, country or continent where some color are aggressive for one culture it could mean status on others.
Blue it’s the most common color because lot of airlines use blue on their brand colors.

Reply
Greg December 7, 2019 - 9:18 pm

I miss the old United brown plus sunset stripe seat covers. Nice splash of color.

And the red tones on PanAm and TWA.

90s brought us that bland blue everywhere

Reply
David Simon December 8, 2019 - 8:35 am

Cadillac used blue interiors as the default color in professional cars (Hearses and limousines) for years. I always wondered why that would be, since it doesn’t really look right with black paint. Another little mystery.

Reply
Rob May 2, 2021 - 4:07 pm

You do realize JetBlue has grey seats.

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derek May 2, 2021 - 5:52 pm

Calming and also better for hiding dirt. The 1990’s United Airlines cloth seats had a busy design which hides dirt, too.

Reply
Jeffrey February 13, 2023 - 7:09 pm

Emirates = Brown and Tan
Qatar = Maroon/Ruby
Singapore Airlines – Purple/Grey
Saudi Airlines = Tan/Brown
El Al = Tan/Grey
Thai Airlines = Purple/Red
Korean Air = Green/Teal
Etihad = Tan/Brown
Italia = Purple/Grey
Tap Airlines = Grey/Black
LATAM = Grey
Turkish = Grey/Black
Biman = Grey/Red/Green
Vietnam Airlines – Grey/Tan
Kenya Airlines = Brown/Tan
ITA = Purple
Icelandair = Grey/Black
Swiss Air = Tan/Brown
Austrian Air = Grey
Avianca = Grey/Black

Reply
Honolulu Lulu February 14, 2023 - 2:41 pm

Hah!! and Thank you Jeffrey!

Reply
Jim Gordon February 14, 2023 - 9:17 am

How would you feel if you were sat on all the time. I would be blue too. Real sad.

Reply

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