The Zappos people were asking exactly that question during BlogHer09, and here is my answer,
On PBS’s Digital Nation, while at BlogHer09
I posted about this in April, 2006. The NYT article was titled Ready for takeoff? Even if it’s standing room? Back then the airlines involved vigorously denied that they were considering doing away with seats.
Well, three years later, the story is baaack:
Would You Stand on Short Flights if It Meant Cheaper Fares?
According to Marketwatch.com: A spokesman for Ryanair, Stephen McNamara, said the airline is looking to replace traditional seats with “vertical ones,” which on a typical flight would allow between 50 and 60 additional passengers.
The vertical seats
Oxymoron – Dude, if vertical, it’s not a seat!
sound like something you might find in an amusement park:
I’m not amused
Mr. McNamara said the airline envisages having the passengers supported and restrained,
Why does that bring to mind horror movies involving insane asylums?
and not simply holding a rail,
The screaming, floating strap hangers wouldn’t look so good to the rest of the passengers?
so they could handle turbulence or an emergency landing safely, Steve Gelsi reports.
Or perhaps the airline wants you to be on the misericord,
so you pray for mercy on your soul during a rough flight?
Ryanair would need approval both from U.S. and European Union authorities, as well as Boeing, which makes its aircraft. Mr. McNamara said it could take three years before they could even pilot the program, and then additional time to launch it.
Give the sadists enough time, and they’ll push it through, possibly even with a governmental bailout.
The thing is, once an arline reduces travel room, it later becomes a trend to all the airlines. When air travel first started, passengers were treated well, which later became first class (which is disappearing, fast), and now we’re all sardines in coach.
Yes, it CAN get worse!
Another controversial idea -– charging for toilet use on flights –- is “still under consideration,” according to Mr. McNamara.
There you are, catapulted into the upper atmosphere in an aluminum tube and they’re charging you to use the toilet.
What other humiliation will they think of next? Dare I ask?
Speaking of billing, how about allowing passengers to bill airlines for every minute of delays, at the passengers’ hourly wage rate, chums?
I’ll be joining Jane and other friends at BlogHer09 later today. Blogging will take second place to socializing and fun.
No, we didn’t have to stand through a flight to get here, perish the thought.