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?"