Standing-room only section on planes? Could mean lower fares

Would you buy a bargain-priced airline ticket, but the catch was you had to stand for the entire flight?

A new university study says the idea of standing-only sections on planes is no joke.

An airline that removes seats can accommodate about 20 percent more passengers and, as a result, offer discounts of as much as 44 percent compared with airlines that offer big comfy seats, according to the study published in the International Journal of Engineering and Technology.

Airlines in Ireland and China have looked into the concept, but none have yet put the idea into practice.

Major carriers in the U.S. and the Federal Aviation Administration say the idea has to overcome some serious hurdles before it can take off. FAA officials say they haven’t seen the study but note that under current standards, passengers are required to fasten seat belts during takeoffs, landings and when instructed by the pilot.

“You can’t have a seat belt without a seat,” FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

To meet the seat belt requirement, the study suggests passengers lean against a padded backboard, with straps that stretch over their shoulders.

The study’s author, Fairuz I. Romli, an aerospace engineering professor and lecturer at the Universiti Putra Malaysia, said passengers would probably be comfortable standing only on flights shorter than three hours.

Gregor said all seats on commercial planes must be tested by the FAA to withstand specific pressures.

The idea won’t fly because air travelers won’t agree to it, said Jean Medina, spokeswoman for Airlines for America, the trade group for the nation’s airlines.

“Airline customers ultimately determine what works in the market, voting with their wallet every day,” she said, “and comfort is high among drivers of their choice.”

More in Life

This beefy ex-cop has a delicate hobby: intricate paper-cut art

You can see Tom Sacco’s creations at the upcoming Everett Art Walk.

Kamiak student Aidan Norris (center) drags Matthew Ninh into a scene as Mitchell Beard (left) reads his lines. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Joy, disappointment at Kamiak High’s ‘Spamalot’ auditions

More than 80 students try out for 45 roles in the outrageous Monty Python musical comedy.

Arlington eagle fest wants your nature-themed artwork, haiku

Local residents of an artistic bent are invited to submit… Continue reading

What’s new for 2018 for travelers in Scandinavia

Sweden, Norway and Finland have embarked on many urban, cultural and transit projects.

Kia Rio subcompact takes a classy step up in 2018

A new design, roomier cabin, and better fuel economy are among the improvements on the 2018 Kia Rio.

Overcome your fear of death, in a book title at least

Three novels about death worth reading at Everett Public Library.

Dolores O’Riordan was lead singer of Irish band The Cranberries

The police force said the death was being treated as “unexplained.”

‘Trump saying something racist isn’t exactly news anymore:’ ‘SNL’

The week’s news was dominated by reports that Trump disparaged Haiti, El Salvador and all of Africa.

Bald eagle no longer listed as ‘sensitive species’ in the state

A recent study found that eagle numbers are strong throughout Washington.

Most Read