A small adjustment to airplane seating could reduce prices for short flights to dirt cheap levels. It comes at a different cost, though. The new seat design is for a standing or vertical seat. That means passengers will be on their feet for the length of their travel. It may not seem appealing in regards to comfort, but the price for travel is hard to beat.
Changing the game of affordable travel
A report authored by aerospace engineering professor Fairuz Romli, which was published in the IACSIT International Journal of Engineering and Technology, calculates that the standing seats could increase seating capacity on airplanes by 21 percent and reduce ticket prices by 44 percent. While it isn’t recommended for long flights lasting multiple hours, the standing seats could make low-budget travel over smaller distances a reality. The development could allow consumers to decide between a lengthy five hour train ride or an hour of standing on a flight.
The main problem vertical seats face are the rigorous safety guidelines enforced by aviation agencies. The standing seats hope to meet the strict criteria by offering flat padded backboards with materials that secure passengers to the surface using buckles and belts and a high-perched saddle in some variations.
Back in 2012, when budget airline Ryanair was studying vertical seat designs, their chief executive suggested having hand rails and straps similar to the style of popular London underground train services, according to an article published by The Guardian. That variation on the standing room air travel concept was met with a fair amount of negative feedback. Over the years, Ryanair abandoned the vertical seating idea, according to CNN. The company has no future plans to create or run trials on standing seats.
A few years away from standing seating
Other airlines may be studying the concept, however. Romli believes that designs could be created, tested and approved within just six years,CNN reported.
“The only major challenge is to obtain the approval from the aviation authorities and if the concept has proven to satisfy all necessary requirements in terms of passenger safety, there shouldn’t be much problem for it to become reality,” Romli told the news agency.
Then, it will be up to the consumer to turn the standing seats into a profitable invention or a bust. For younger travelers and tourists on a budget, this could be a quick fix for finding transit funds. As for older aircraft guests or passengers on long flights, it may be wise to stick to the normal seats.