‘Fly seated on bar stools’

‘Fly seated on bar stools’
July 11, 2009 Print Ready Email Article

IRISH no-frills carrier Ryanair said it was in talks with US planemaker Boeing about adapting its aircraft so that some passengers could be placed in ‘vertical seating’.

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CLEVER? Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. Media reports say Ryanair stories about silly things it is ‘considering’ helps generate free publicity. PICTURE: AFP

The low-cost airline said it would charge passengers less on ‘bar stools’ with seat belts around their waists, reported AFP. However, critics slammed the idea as an exaggeration which is not technically viable.

The carrier, which has drawn controversy before with suggestions like charging a ‘fat tax’ on heavy passengers and getting travellers to pay £1 ($2.40) to use its onboard toilets, said it wants to get more people onto its aircraft by ripping out traditional seating.

Ryanair is now seeking approval from the Irish Aviation Authority before ordering a new fleet of carriers, according to The Sun.

The carrier’s spokesman Stephen McNamara confirmed the company was in talks with Boeing, saying: ‘If they approve it, we’ll be doing it.’ He said Ryanair was looking into removing four rows, or 12 seats, of traditional seating on its planes to accommodate this.

Chief executive Michael O’Leary, is reported to have got the idea from Chinese airline Spring, which has put forward similar plans to European planemaker Airbus.

Mr O’Leary estimates space could be made for up to 50 per cent more passengers and costs could be cut by 20 per cent.

But this idea will not fly, said a report in Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

Giving an example, it quoted a 2006 article in The New York Times. The paper reported that Airbus was considering offering ‘similar seating’ to pack more passengers on jets. The story was retracted.

Physics of airplane construction would mean that airplane seats, regardless of shape, and the passengers in them have to withstand significant forces to be certified as airworthy. They must stay intact against such great force so that the people strapped onto them have a chance to survive a crash.

But each jet is not allowed to go over its stipulated maximum number of passengers, calculated based largely on the ability to get everyone out quickly through emergency exits.

And low-cost airplanes are already near such limits.

Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800, it said, has a maximum capacity of 189 and it already seats up to that number – meaning it can’t go over that, rendering Mr O’Leary’s arguments for more people impossible.

The WSJ article said: ‘For Ryanair, one story after another about the silly things the airline is ‘considering’ to do to passengers simply advertises the notion that Ryanair has low-cost tickets.

‘Mr O’Leary got so much free advertising by suggesting he’d install coin slots on airplane toilets that he seemingly couldn’t stop himself.

‘After his company said no – in fact there was no plan to make passengers pay to go – another round of stories surfaced with Mr O’Leary saying he actually was really serious about it. Really. Seriously. No kidding.’



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One Response to “‘Fly seated on bar stools’”

  1. airbus seats Says:

    Nice blog. i keep it as a bookmark. excellent job. thanks a lots.

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