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The Vote

Would you stand from Manchester to Alicante if it meant a cheaper flight ticket?

Published on July 6th 2009.

The Vote

When you pay your fare on a bus only to realise all the seats are taken, what do you do? You stand of course. But could the same unspoken rules of bus travel apply to the economy section on planes?

A new idea, reportedly being put forward to Asian carriers, is to create a standing-seated option on planes. The original idea was said to have come from Airbus in a pitch to budget Chinese carrier Spring Airlines.

Airbus have since denied any knowledge of the proposals, but today Ryanair boss, Michael O'Leary, has openly supported standing-seats on planes, which could accommodate 50 per cent more passengers and slash costs by 20 per cent. Passengers would be half standing with a bar stool type chair to perch on and seatbelts around their waists. There would be no luggage consignment, no food, no water – but it's all very convenient and most importantly, cheap.

A representative from Shanghai airline said: “We are planning to have standing seats. We want to have it so more people can afford to fly.” But whilst the price might be right and the idea may seem as feasible as standing on a bus, there are far more health and safety implications to consider when travelling by plane.

Whether this happens or not, there's no denying that seats on planes have got slimmer and tighter over the years in economy and it's a big price jump if you fancy stretching your legs out in business or first class.

With many of us travelling more frequently – global warming concerns or not - it's only a matter of time before seats can't get any smaller and airlines will have to start considering other ways to supply the demand, but are standing-seats the answer?

Ryan Air boss, Michael O’Leary is a nutter, as everyone knows, so his endorsement means the idea is probably cuckoo but what do you think? Would you be willing to stand on a flight for a cheaper ticket? Vote on the Manchester Confidential homepage.

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32 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Dr ChiJuly 6th 2009.

I would not pay to fly standing.What would be the point? The standing space which they'll allocate to cram people in, safety will probably be a harness to stop the customers from crashing into the overly expensive vending trolley, will probably cost £10. Oh Goody.Then along come the all the extra fees:£5 to print ticket at home if you're standing.An extra £10 for standing space near toiletOR £2.52 for space right in the centre (far away form exit and toilets)£5 to be allowed to store your cabinluggage seeing as there is now no cabin space above your head and no seat infront of you to store it under.... etcAnd so in total the ultra cheap stanidng seat comes to a low £89.97Might as well fly with Airberlin for £120 with ALL my charges, fuel and otherwise included in the price. With a seat.

BenJuly 6th 2009.

That sounds awful, no to mention the safety concerns. Just when you thought they couldn't make economy feel like it's built for battery hens - they do

emma graceJuly 6th 2009.

Sign of the times or what?!

Darren ScottJuly 6th 2009.

Comparing a bus with a plane is like comparing a ladder with an elevator. You don’t get turbulence and bumpy landings on a bus. And who travels with absolutely NO luggage? Idiot Idea.

DescartesJuly 6th 2009.

You get what you pay for in life, if you want a nice seat, you pay for it. if you're desperate to cut the costs of your holiday by this much, you deserve what you get.

DidsburyGirlJuly 6th 2009.

No. Just no. You can fly fairly cheaply anywhere these days with a seat, why do it without? Mental.

JanieJuly 6th 2009.

What an absolutely bonkers idea! Ever seen it when people have been standing still for 3-4 hours? THEY DON'T! They twitch like mad and want to walk around which is completely natural. The only time you see people standing still for hours is outside Buckingham Palace and the like - and how many times have those poor sods toppled over?? Can you imagine trying to get off an aircraft in an emergency if standing was allowed as well as the normal seating allocation? Chaos comes to mind. Seats are cheap enough so stick with what we know is safe.

BigfellerJuly 6th 2009.

Is this a p**stake? It can't be serious? It is absolutely ridiculous. Is it April the First?

richard bransonJuly 6th 2009.

Fantastic idea, it'll be like my train service! Only difference is that you'll pay less!

cigpapersJuly 6th 2009.

If the zanulabour party carry on with mass immigration it will be standing room only everywhere!

JinkiesJuly 6th 2009.

Haha cigpapers, silly man. How exactly do you relate immigration to flights leaving the UK's airspace heading towards somewhere else?

JinkiesJuly 6th 2009.

Surely this kind of plane is exactly what you fools want? makes it easier to send people back to where they came from. Oops sorry, you don't say that now do you, I meant voluntarily repatriate them.

GooseJuly 6th 2009.

If they install a bar to stand at I'd think about it. More profit for them too. In fact, how about if they just make my local fly, so every time I spend 4 hours standing at the bar I wander out into some exotic new destination? Nipping out the bag for a fag could obviously be problematic...

RichardJuly 6th 2009.

Michael O’Leary does it again! You can all call him bonkers, but he's not paying for any of this publicity is he? Saying that, Ryan Air is loosing a fortune, will they soon realise you can only cut so much?

SarahJuly 6th 2009.

How would you get into the 'brace position' without a seat??? Curl up on the floor??

cigpapersJuly 6th 2009.

Actually jinkies paid voluntary repatriation for non whites was originally introduced by a Tory Government at the start of the 1970s, and is now officially both Labour and Conservative policy. The BNP only intends to promote this policy more , and I can assure you they will all get a seat!

James FurrowJuly 6th 2009.

Cigpapers you seem quite intelligent. Why not divert your energies to something that is hopeful, a positive not a bitter, hopeless and hard opinion. Why do you want Britain to be white and mono-cultural? How old are you? I remember growing up in the 1970s in Rawtenstall and it was depressing, dying and dull. Why woul you want to return to that?

cunnersJuly 6th 2009.

this is a crazy idea,who's gonna pay or do this.I wouldnt,not even if it was for free. I would hate the idea of someone stood quite close to me (eating/drinking/perspiring)n hanging over my shoulder,n stood nearby ugh...

squirrelitoJuly 6th 2009.

to Darren Scott: "You don’t get turbulence and bumpy landings on a bus", try travelling on anything run by Firstbus and you'll know that you can, and you will, get both of those. Seems their buses have only two settings: "Bounce" and "Slam On".

Ali McGowanJuly 6th 2009.

@squirrelito: I think Stagehoax have the same settings on their buses. But they'd be a worthy candidate to start an all-standing airline, given the way they run East Midlands Trains (constant over crowding to those not in the know). In fact, given their rubbish customer service, perhaps they should merge with Ryanair. Standing on planes? What a bloody silly idea.

GrahamJuly 6th 2009.

I think it's a good idea! Cheaper for the customer and better for the environment. I'd happily sit on a stool for a couple of hours instead of a normal seat if it saved me enough money...

GrahamJuly 6th 2009.

P.S. I love Goose's idea. Can scientists please please please make that happen!

MarkJuly 6th 2009.

Ryanair dont fly from Manchester to Alicante!

carole easeyJuly 6th 2009.

This man is bonkers what else can he think of charging us for? Using the clean air. He thinks that giving cheap flights is good but when you add everything on its not Ryan air I will never ever use however cheap.

johnthebriefJuly 6th 2009.

When you add on the "extras" (like paying by any kind of card at all) Ryanair is no cheaper than the competition, and treats its customers with the utmost contempt. Easyjet is a prime example of how you can have a bargain-priced service that still respects its passengers. For me, if there's any choice at all, I will not fly Ryanair, no matter what the cost differential.

ChickJuly 6th 2009.

Last time I flew with this airline, twas one of the worst flying experiences of my life - no kidding. Constantly bombarded with advertising throughout the flight, the most indifferent cabin crew I have ever encountered. Best bit was being charged £25 for 'extra baggage' because I had put both mine and my Husband's stuff together, thought it would be easier for us and them and we were only away for two days so apart from my shoes, not much stuff at all. The one bag between us weighed considerably less than both of our allowance put together but a teeny bit more than one of our individual allowances. They are, quite frankly ****, like jtb said, Easyjet is cheap but has not yet sold its soul to the devil. I will not fly Ryan Air at any cost, no matter the mantra, 'you get what you pay for' - Michael O'Leary is an arse

BarneyJuly 6th 2009.

Having been charged £7.50 for a compulsory seat in addition to my ticket by FlyBe, I would have considered standing up to save some money.

A TROTTERJuly 6th 2009.

What a crazy, bo***cks, idea. yes we may have to stand on buses, trains , trams + underground tube,but remember you are in the air .What happens if there's turbulance and you are standing?Would any sane person would do that. also would you stand - up to drive a car, long - hall coach or HGV journey? As your article states,the Ryan Air boss is a nutter....

BenJuly 6th 2009.

They'll be strapping passengers to the wings before long! I'd love to see the stewards offering service in THAT event

CasJuly 6th 2009.

I hate Ryan Air. The last time we flew with them was a few years ago to Sardinia as we couldn't fly with anyone else. Everything about it is vile. The staff are terrible and it only makes you worry about the cost saving in the background. I honestly think it is an accident waiting to happen. O'Leary has ridden the wave of people bragging 'I got a flight to somewhere I've never heard of for £4.26 - great eh?', in my humble view I can see Ryan Air running into serious problems soon, as people begin to get over the cheap flights phase and realise that when you've added in the coach fare to and from an obscure airport, the costs onboard and being charged for anything possible, it's not really that much cheaper than a quality carrier. I have travelled via Amsterdam with KLM, Frankfurt with Lufthansa to avoid these airlines. And, knowing this will make me sound like a twat, I've just done a nice 4 hour business class flight with BMI and wherever possible I'm flying this way in future - we actually got treated like human beings!

Darren ScottJuly 6th 2009.

I would rather get a large box and mail myself to my destination.

AnonymousJuly 6th 2009.

Cas...your right, you do sound like one !"We flew with them a few years ago as we couldn't fly with anyone else ? "..So should this happen again i presume you would be more than happy to forgo your business class seat ?Also, why do people feel the need to have to eat/drink on short haul flights ? How do these people get through the day until the next meal time if they cannot manage to go 2 hours without having sandwich/coffee , then spen the rest of the flight moaning about the fact that a coffee at 35 000 ft costs about the same as it does in Starbucks..( or equally cr@p chain!)

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