How the vertical airline seats might look
Air passengers might soon be able to fly from just $6, with ample leg room to boot. There’s just one small catch, it seems – they’ll have to stand.
Instead of being allocated a seat, Ryanair travellers would perch on a narrow shelf and lean against a flat padded backboard.
They would be restrained with a strap stretching over their shoulder, the budget airline said.
But the bizarre initiative ran into an immediate obstacle.
European aviation safety regulators said the perches would not meet safety rules.
Last night Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary went ahead regardless with his announcement of plans to remove the back ten rows of seats from 250 planes and replace them with 15 rows of so-called ‘vertical seating’.
Two lavatories at the back could also be removed, helping to allow up to 50 extra passengers on each flight.
Mr O’Leary told ITV1’s How To Beat The Budget Airlines that safety testing would begin next year, when a £1 charge to use toilets will be introduced.
Ryanair hopes to phase in the perches on commuter flights of up to an hour long before expanding them to all aircraft.
Aviation law states that people have to have a seat belt on for take-off, landing and turbulence.
A final decision on whether the perches meet the rules would rest with the European Aviation Safety Agency based in Cologne, Germany.
But last night it dismissed the Ryanair plan as a stunt.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said safety testing for vertical seating will take place next year
‘To our knowledge, no airlines or other operators have made an application for stand-up seats,’ a spokesman said.
‘What they are proposing would be unprecedented and highly unlikely to be certified in the near future.
‘Stand-up seating would require changes to European rules for the certification of aircraft.
‘The current rules determine that each passenger has to be provided with “a seat or, if they are immobile, a berth”. This is neither.’
The publicity has certainly succeeded in distracting attention from Ryanair’s controversial introduction yesterday of ‘big baggage’ charge rises.
Checking in a suitcase will cost up to £80 over the summer.
The vertical seating idea also comes days after the airline announced it was slashing its winter services by 16 per cent and carrying 2million fewer passengers.
Boeing, which supplies Ryanair’s fleet of 273 737-800 passenger jets said: ‘We are not considering standing-only accommodations.
‘Stringent regulatory requirements – including seats capable of withstanding a force of 16 times gravity – pretty much preclude such an arrangement.’
But Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said: ‘We are confident the seats can pass safety tests.
‘Boeing can put a man on the moon so I am sure they are able to make these a success. ‘Seats are lighter and the carbon footprint will be smaller, as more seats fit into a smaller area.’
Mr O’Leary has manipulated the media to publicise his airline in the past.
‘Standing room only’ was mooted back in 2006 when a prototype ‘perch seat’ was unveiled. On that occasion, Ryanair later dismissed the idea as ‘a joke’.
Via Daily Mail