Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, which has previously toyed with the idea of charging passengers to use in-flight restrooms, is now looking into a proposal that could see planes produced with additional standing room.
A Ryanair spokesperson has confirmed that the airline is in "very preliminary" talks with Boeing in regards to removing a number of rows of seats to make room for people to lean on bar-like stools - each equipped with strapping for use during take off or landing.
According to a report by The Sun, Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary is seeking approval from the Irish Aviation Authority. Should he get the go ahead, passengers opting to stand could be offered tickets for 50 per cent less, or in some cases free of charge.
Ryanair states that standing tickets would apply only on short-haul flights of under one hour and 30 minutes. It adds that the proposal would allow for a greater number of passengers, as well as reduced costs.
Earlier this year, Chinese airline Spring announced similar plans, and Ryanair CEO O'Leary believes standing passengers is a natural progression for the airline industry. Speaking to Sky News, he had this to say:
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."
Why is this any different to what happens on trains where you see thousands of people who cannot get a seat standing in the isles, and it happens regularly on the Underground.
Would you be willing to stand for a cheaper flight, or is Ryanair taking the no-frills approach too far? Share your thoughts in the HEXUS.community forums.
In related news, Ryanair, following talks with the Office of Fair Trading, has promised to provider a clearer indication of optional charges to customers after numerous complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.