Ryanair plans 'standing seats'

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary
When the story broke last week about China's Spring Airlines looking into 'standing-only' flights, I figured that it was only a matter of time before European budget carrier Ryanair would announce plans for a similar concept. And sure enough, Ryanair, not to be outdone, finally announced today that it was in discussions with Boeing and the Irish Aviation Authority to look at "vertical seating" in its 737s - the last four rows of regular seats would be removed in order to make room for the new seats. Passengers wouldn't actually be standing, but "they would have something like a stool to lean on or to sit on," said Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara; CEO Michael O'Leary has described them as "barstools," according to The Sun, which also reports that O'Leary got the idea from the Chinese carrier.

The passengers who use the "vertical seating" would fly for less than those with a regular seat, and would apparently be used only on flights under 90 minutes. "We might take out the last five or six rows and say to passengers, 'Do you want to stand up? If you do, you can travel for free'," said O'Leary, to Sky News. "Why is this any different to what happens on trains, where you see thousands of people who cannot get a seat standing in the aisles, and it happens regularly on the Underground?"


David L. Lamb, ITC said...

The notion of Ryanair doing a "standing room only" on an airplane is about as silly as the idea of paying a quid for the loo (as the Brits would say).

As I have mentioned on several other websites, the first and primary responsibility is the safety of the passengers, period, full stop. Ryanair is not going to endanger its passengers by creating a situation in which someone gets hurt (or killed) and they would be liable for some random failure to do something.

This is nothing more than a publicity stunt. Michael O'Leary has learned how to manipulate the press to get "free" advertising...just announce some ridiculous plan to introduce a service that will make flying cheaper, but that is totally outside what is possible or safe on an airplane.

It is important to take these "ideas" for what they are..."advertising". It's free (doesn't cost Ryanair a quid) and they get thousands of pound Sterling in advertising simply by saying they will do something outrageous. It's brilliant, really, since the European press are hell bent on busting Ryanair's chops at every opportunity, so by feeding the frenzy, the EuroPress gets what they want, O'Leary gets what he wants and we are left to wonder if he is actually serious.

Folks, he's not. That said, he's charging five quid to fly to Paris and making money; he must be doing SOMETHING right.

dpb said...

I really think this is a viable idea. Look at buses, trains. There are no safety devices. People get hurt, but it is accepted. Ryanair mostly flies short hops. I think something an hour or less, some sort of standing or stool seating could work. People would be willing to suffer to pay less!

David L. Lamb, ITC said...

dpb...the problem that you have in the air that you don't have on a bus or a train is turbulence. OK, you might argue that the chances of getting hit by something while riding a bus are the same as turbulence in the air...and you would be wrong.

Turbulence, and I don't mean the kind that just jarrs you in your seat, but the kind that causes the airplane to sink 1000 feet in two seconds is sometimes sudden and unpredictable. Anyone who is not tightly belted into something attached to the floor during a severe turbulence event in which an aircraft upset occurs will be tossed around the cabin like a beach ball. Now take that picture and multiply it by 20 people or so and you have 20 - 150-200lb projectiles flying around the cabin not only injuring or killing themselves, but most likely anyone sitting around them.

Unfortunately, a great many people do not realize the danger (even a flying piece of luggage can be deadly if it hits you in the head) or will dismiss it as not likely to happen. The reason people don't get injured (physically) during those events is that the rules are very strict about people being belted into their seats during the flight.

The idea of adding people "standing" is not something that is viable on an airplane. If Michael O'Leary is that serious about generating ancillary revenue, I can think of about 20 things that can be done that Ryanair isn't doing that will generate them more cash and not put their passengers in danger.
After all, this is ALL about money.

Tom said...

I'm sure that Ryanair wouldn't be allowed to just let passengers stand in the aisles or anything - there will be special seats in which they 'sit,' although 'lean' might be a more accurate word. Still, I'm sure that they'll be strapped down somehow.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with u david, it seems quiet hard to believe, this is much more free advertizing than nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Boeing denies being in talks with Ryanair and considering making passengersstand during flight said Andrew Davis, Boeing's chief communication manager to France Soir, a French Newspaper


Travelbug 2009 said...

I think Ryanair does all these things that aggreveates people just so that they get publicity. And sure enough, we all fall for it. I fly Ryanair, talk about Ryanair and blog about them. That is all they ever wanted.

Derren Lawford said...

Panorama are making a programme on Ryanair.Thought the following video might be of interest:

Anonymous said...

a cheaper solution would be to make everybody lie down on several floors..it takes less room than seats