​Would you stand on a flight to save some money?

I loved my trip to Greece last October so much that I am going back this October. 

Last year I found tickets from Toronto to Athens—direct!—for just $900 so obviously I hope to pay around the same amount. In fact, just yesterday, I saw the airline advertise a seat sale to all sorts of destinations, including Athens. The sale price? $1,200.

It’s bull crap. 

But maybe, just maybe, if I were willing to stand the entire nine hours, I could find a better deal. 

That’s right: there are some airlines proposing standing room-only cheap tickets. The idea is that they’d reserve an area, probably behind economy seats, for people to stand. There’d still be seat belts and maybe a back cushion for comfort. And the cost would be dirt cheap because you are standing on an airplane

VivaColumbia, for example, “was very interested in the radical idea, which could help drive down the cost of airfares and make them more accessible to more people,” the New York Post reports

And they’re not the only ones.

“Airbus first started discussing the possibility of standing room flights back in 2003 when it came up with the concept of a vertical seat that would allow passengers to stand while being braced,” the Post says. “In 2010, Irish no-frills airline Ryanair announced plans to offer discounted tickets — as low as $7 — to passengers willing to stand on flights.”

“Another “standing” seat was built in 2010 — the SkyRider, by Italian seat design company AvioInteriors — which was designed for people to “perch” on. The SkyRider’s design allows for a space of just 58 c.m between seats, meaning more could be packed onto a plane — but it never got the required approval for use.


Even Chinese carrier Spring Airlines discussed introducing vertical seats as recently as two years ago.”

Actually, the New York Times reported on standing “seats” 11 years ago, in 2006, noting that they’d most likely only be used for short-haul flights—think island hopping, or one-to-two-hour flights between major cities—like Boston to New York. 

So far, however, no aviation authorities have approved the idea. 

“Anyone who has ridden on public mass transit knows that it’s not the best when you’re standing,” Columbia’s Civil Aviation Director Alfredo Bocanegra said on the radio. 

He’s right. But sometimes I stand on the streetcar for 45 minutes and that costs me $3.25. For a few bucks more I could be in Montreal. 

And, if you get what you pay for, I actually think these “seats” are a steal. 


Is it such a terrible idea? They don't look so bad! Plus think of all the idiots who already stand for an hour as they line up at their gate before boarding is even announced. They could be sitting down the entire time but they choose to stand. Why do they do that? So they can get a spot for their over-sized carry-on bags in the overhead compartments? Relax because they always find a spot for your non-regulation-size luggage. 

Why do airplanes still have no-smoking lights above every single seat? Everybody knows there is no smoking on airplanes. They suggest that if the light is off maybe there is smoking on airplanes. They're ridiculous. 

What I’m trying to say is so much about flying makes very little sense. It’s unnatural to be 30,000 feet in the air. So why not stand while I’m doing that and use the hundreds of dollars I save to buy a nice dinner once I land to celebrate defying nature, human innovation, and being alive? 

Footnote: Many of you on Facebook said the idea of standing on a plane is impossible because of safey issues. This does not seem to be the case, at least in the U.S.A. From the New York Times:
"There is no legal barrier to installing standing-room seats on an American airliner. The Federal Aviation Administration does not mandate that a passenger be in a sitting position for takeoffs and landings; only that the passenger be secured. Seating must comply only with the agency's rules on the width of aisles and the ability to evacuate quickly in an emergency.

The Air Transport Association, the trade association for the airline industry in the United States, does not have any seat-comfort standards. Nor does it issue any recommendations to its members regarding seating configurations."
Use of this Website assumes acceptance of Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
© 2018     All rights reserved
2017 Bell Media