Standing seats on airliners


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4 May 2008
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For the second time in the space of a week I have heard airlines ventilating the idea of offering standing seats to passengers.

here is a first link
Ryanair also espoused the idea.

My first reaction was: can you make those "seats" meet the same (admittedly laughable) crashworthiness criteria of regular seats? They obviously must in order to meet FAA rules. What would the retention system look like? I imagine something like the attached picture.
Seriously, i am interested in hearing from forum members. Maybe there is some merit in the idea I did not consider.
Anyway, this is further proof that air travel is starting to look more and more like cattle transport.


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This strikes me as a terrible idea...

Plus from what I remember FAA certification tests determine the maximum number of people an airliner can carry based on the number of people can evacuate in 90-secs with half of the exits blocked. In some cases the planes could physically carry more than the FAA allowed because they couldn't get everybody off on time
The idea is hardly new. The concept was floated in 2006 for Airbus A380's shuttling Asians around Asian and Muslims (from Indonesia and Africa and such) to Mecca for the Hajj. The customers are not exactly the richest folk around, so getting the cheapest fare means packing in as many as possible.

Read to the bottom of the page -- the Times had to severely correct that article. Turns out Airbus had abandoned the idea of stand-up "seating" several years earlier.
A few years ago, during a trip to the Balkans, a colleague and I flew from Skopje in Macedonia to Zagreb in Croatia with a local airline called "AvioImpex", and they used stand-up "seating". Of course, they also used the following definition of "carry-on luggage": "If you can carry/drag it on to the plane, it's carry-on luggage". The entire forward lavatory was full of "carry-on luggage" by the time we took off (after, that is, the pilot had spent the better part of 30 minutes arguing with several passengers about their seat assignments).

So yeah....standing "seating".....been there, done that ;)

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
The airlines might as well turn to public bus-style seating like in SOUL PLANE. Hey they're already charging for overhead bins. Might as well find more ways to save.


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The latest wheeze:

Earlier story:


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Grey Havoc said:

As if getting up from the window seat to go to the bathroom wasn't enough trouble already.

I remember seeing papers on "standing seats" back when I was in engineering school in the 80s. To me these aren't going to happen anymore than rear facing seats (The safest seating position) will, because the people simply aren't going to tolerate them.
Moose said:
If I'm the FAA there's no way I approve this, evacuation would be a nightmare.

Plus there ought to be hostesses both at the front AND the rear to demonstrate safety measures...

Also, I really wonder how they expect the person looking rear to easily sit and stand up, as there is practically no space to run their legs between the seats.
The other problem with standing seating that designers seem to forget about is passengers who can't stand. Both the US and EU have fairly tough regs (US - Air Carrier Access Act, EU - Rights of Passengers With Reduced Mobility When Travelling By Air) that apply to any flight within or into their territory and that means you have to be able to seat both wheelchair users (by having seats we can transfer into) and ambulant disabled passengers, and that can add up to a fairly big group of people when you include passengers (for example many of the elderly) who can walk aboard, but can't stand for an hour plus. So you absolutely need conventional seating in all classes. You can't price the standing seating lower (which ISTR was one of Ryanair's suggestions when this first cropped up), as that would create a discount inaccessible to disabled passengers, which is positively inviting enforcement action (DOT has levied some pretty ferocious fines for ACAA violations), while trying to have mixed normal and standing seating at the same price would create an uproar from passengers expected to use the 'less good' standing seating.

And then there's the problem of children. It doesn't matter if a kid's feet don't touch the ground in a conventional seat, but in a standing seat it's potentially a major problem, and standing endurance again becomes an issue.
If you thought that was crazy, then have a look at another recent brainstorm coming out of Airbus:

Grey Havoc said:
If you thought that was crazy, then have a look at another recent brainstorm coming out of Airbus:

This one doesn't look half as bad as the standing seats. Not only the passengers are seated (however spartan) but this is a clever way to gain space. Now of course it would make it a bit difficult for the persons above to get up and go the bathroom, and one could only sit fit people, not elderly women or overweight people!
There is also the matter of air circulation - if you pack in more passengers, you need to boost the input of fresh air pro rata. And increase the capacity of the filters of the recycling system to prevent airborne viruses being passed around.

Being 6' 2" tall my concern is with legroom, especially on long flights. This is barely adequate (unless you can pay for business class - which costs several times as much on transatlantic routes). It is often less than adequate when the passenger in front reclines their seat. On a Swissair flight from the USA a few months ago, the passenger in front of me promptly dropped the seat right back and it was physically impossible for me to sit conventionally - my knees would have been crushed. By sheer good fortune there was no-one sitting next to me so I was able to sit sideways. What I would have done otherwise I don't know.

So what I would like to see is seats designed with backrests fixed at an appropriate angle. They would be simpler and lighter than adjustable seats (saving the airlines money), and would end the constant aggro between passengers over reclining the seats. A year or so ago someone sold a lot of examples of a device designed to prevent the seat in front being reclined, but I think airlines banned these after physical fights between passengers over the issue.
Still has the same old problem of being arguably illegal under the US ACAA and EU Passengers With Reduced Mobility legislation. And if you can't sell it into aviation's two biggest markets (and that includes foreign aircraft flying into them) why are you wasting money developing it.
A while back I attended an after dinner talk given by a former air attaché within the former USSR during the eighties. Amongst other adventures, he described taking a stand up short range internal on Aeroflot Yak42’s whereby he simply held onto a flexible drop down handle similar that on a tube train. These allowed additional passengers to stand in the aisles during the flight......everyone laughed until he showed his photos.

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