Standing Room Only- The Crowded Skies

Flying is way too crowded. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of being herded like cattle.

The airlines have come up with a new answer to an old question: How many passengers can be squeezed into economy class?

A lot more, it turns out, especially if an idea still in the early stage should catch on: standing-room-only “seats.”

Airbus has been quietly pitching the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none have agreed to it yet. Passengers in the standing section would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness, according to experts who have seen a proposal.”

What a lovely idea. One more selection for your consumption.

“Perhaps the most extraordinary example of a new jet that could accommodate features unheard of previously is the Airbus A380. There is so much available room on the superjumbo that Virgin Atlantic Airways is even considering placing a beauty salon in its premium-class section. (No final decision has been made, according to the company.) The first A380 is scheduled to be delivered later this year.

With a typical configuration, the A380 will accommodate about 500 passengers. But with standing-room-only seats, the same plane could conceivably fit in 853 passengers, the maximum it would be permitted to carry.

“To call it a seat would be misleading,” said Volker Mellert, a physics professor at Oldenburg University in Germany, who has done research on airline seat comfort and has seen the design. If such a configuration were ever installed on an aircraft, he said, it would only be used on short-haul flights like an island-hopping route in Japan.

While an Airbus spokeswoman, Mary Anne Greczyn, played down the idea that Airbus was trying to sell an aircraft that accommodated 853 passengers, the company would not specifically comment on the upright-seating proposal.

There is no legal barrier to installing standing-room seats on an American airliner. The Federal Aviation Administration does not mandate that a passenger be in a sitting position for takeoffs and landings; only that the passenger be secured. Seating must comply only with the agency’s rules on the width of aisles and the ability to evacuate quickly in an emergency.”

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  1. Jack's Shack April 27, 2006 at 2:08 am


    These days you might get your own room. 😉


    I have been on some of those flights.

  2. Jameel April 26, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    Ever since the Ethopian Jewish airlift on ELAL (Operation Shlomo) in the early 1990’s — ELAL has figured out how cram 900 people on board per flight.

  3. Zeruel April 26, 2006 at 10:20 am

    I just shout really loudly: “bomb on board” – and i have the plane all to myself.

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