Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just when you thought commercial airliners couldn't get more crowded . . .

. . . comes the news that a Chinese airline is apparently considering standing-room passengers!

A private airline in China is submitting plans for journeys where passengers can opt to stand to save money.

Spring Airlines first initiated the standing ticket idea earlier this year.

It is now considering officially submitting it to the aviation regulator before the year is out.

The airline has been trying to cope with surging passenger numbers and new flight routes, but only has 13 planes.

Spring Airlines' Zhang Wuan told China's CCTV: "The process of plane making is really long.

"We already ordered 14 new jets. But some of them will only be delivered next year.

"And you have to wait for at least five years to lease a plane, and it is also very expensive."

The standing jet could accommodate 40% more passengers compared to a traditional plane.

It could also help airlines cut 20% of their costs, while lowering airfares for consumers.

There's more at the link.

At first I thought this report had to be a hoax. I mean, as if airliners aren't crowded enough already! However, on researching the matter further, I found that Irish airline Ryanair was asking its passengers whether they'd be interested in something similar. (Their Web site was rather tongue-in-cheek about the matter, which leads me to suspect they're simply trying to piggyback on Spring Airlines' publicity, but still . . . )

Ryanair, the World’s favourite airline, today (9th July) launched an online poll to ask if passengers would ‘stand’ on short flights if it meant they could travel for FREE, or pay 50% less than seated passengers. Ryanair is gauging passenger demand for its ‘vertical seating’ which will allow passengers to travel – for free – in a secure upright position on short flights of approximately one hour.

Ryanair attached this graphic:

Ye Gods and little fishes . . .

As Mary Kirby, 'Runway Girl' of Flight Global, comments, this is reminiscent of riding on the overcrowded subway trains of Tokyo, where the authorities actually employ 'subway packers' to push people aboard tightly enough so that the doors can close!

If that ever comes to airline travel, I'm going to join the Amish! Bring on that buggy, brother . . .



Anonymous said...

In the Gary Cooper movie "Sgt. York," one of York's buddies in the army was nicknamed "pusher" as he would help "push" or "pack" folks into subway cars in New York. And that was back in the World War I era.


Anonymous said...

An instructor I had at aviation mechanic's school said that back in the late 1970s when he worked for Boeing, JAL approached Boeing about putting seats in the cargo holds of a 747 to use as an island-hopper. Boeing considered, looked at the engineering and liability, and declined the invitation.

Arthur said...

How long till people try riding on the top of plane like they do with buses and trains?

reflectoscope said...

All the insanity of airport security for that? Thank you, no.


perlhaqr said...

On a short flight, that actually looks more comfortable to me. Those airline seats are miserable.