An Idea That Won't Go Away: Standing-Room Only on Airplanes


New York Times, from an earlier proposal for standup flying

Three years ago we wrote about the Airbus proposal (quickly denied) for standing-room seating (Now We Know Why They are Called Airbuses) noting that there might be TreeHugger benefits:

We suppose there could be a TreeHugger case that more people crammed in means less fuel burned per person, and we also suspect that it will end deep vein thrombosis, but generally we think it gives new meaning to Flying is Dying.

Now the idea is back.

via PSFK
Wired recently wrote about China Spring Airlines wanting to add standing as an option:

"for a lower price, passengers should be able to get on a plane like catching a bus, with no seat, no luggage consignment, no food, no water," said Spring's president Wang Zhenghua. It will still be, he insists, "very convenient."

By herding passengers onto the plane like cattle, the airline will be able to squeeze on 40% more people. They will still have to wear safety belts, however, although it sounds like they'll be strapped in somewhat uncomfortably. "It's just like bar stools," Spring's Zhang Wuan told China's CCTV."The safety belt is the most important thing. It will still be fastened around the waist."


Now Ireland's super discount Ryanair wants in, after reading about Spring Airlines. They think they can squeeze in 30% more passengers. A spokesperson is quoted in the Daily News:

"Passengers wouldn't be fully standing, they would have something like a stool to lean on or to sit on," said Stephen McNamara, a Ryanair spokesman. The plan would "completely adhere to safety procedures," he said, as the stools would have lap belts to keep you attached.

In the Telegraph, CEO Michael O'Leary said that said he could squeeze 50 per cent more passengers on board and cut costs by 20 per cent.

TreeHugger always says that efficiency is the cheapest and best way to cut a carbon footprint, but perhaps this is going just a bit too far...

Tags: Carbon Footprint | Transportation