By Mike | July 7, 2009
“Standing room only” – its a phrase you are likely to come across when buying concert tickets or tickets to see a favorite speaker and/or comedian. However, in the near future you might start noticing this phrase when purchasing airline tickets. In an effort to cut costs and improve efficiency, a Chinese low-cost carrier, Spring Airlines, is trying to get approval, from the China’s aviation regulatory body, for reconfiguring its planes to allow for areas of standing spots. It is no surprise that RyanAir has also stated that it will sell standing-room seats, if the aviation authority allows it. This has been months, if not years in the making. I have read several articles about Airbus pitching the “standing-room-only” to various Asian airlines, and now one finally seems to be buying it. Currently there aren’t any countries, including the US, which allow airlines to sell standing-room seats. For example, the US FAA states that all passengers, above the age of 2, must have a seat.
If this does happen at some point, it will obviously only be for domestic fights, since most international flights are way too long for people to stand through. However, can you imagine flying NYC to LA while standing? I am curious how big of a price difference will there be between traditional seats and standing-room spots, because there is no way that I would pay hundreds of dollars to stand for 4 hours.
If you ask me, air travel is uncomfortable enough as it is, and I am a below average sized person. Making people stand in a cramped “seat” isn’t going to make that situation any better. I am curious to know, how many of you would willingly buy a standing-room-only seat and at what kind of discount, compared to a regular seat?