April 25, 2006

"Propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness."

Now, you can be even more squashed on a plane. Here's the crazy new standing section.

32 comments:

bill said...

Passengers in the standing section would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness...I hear there are people who would pay extra for that kind of service.

Standing room? Why not, it's not like the current seats are all that comfortable.

MadisonMan said...

I love the quote in the article about new seats and new seat configurations: "It will still be as comfortable as any economy-class section today." In other words, not very comfortable at all.

I wouldn't mind standing for short flights, say, Madison to Milwaukee or O'Hare. I just want headroom. A standing flight seems tailor-made for that famous stander, Don Rumsfeld.

J said...

My guess is standing during a takeoff delay or hold for bad weather would get kind of old, and generate considerable resistance on the part of the passengers to complying with restraint rules. And I'm not sure how 200 seats in a 757 qualifies as tight seating - that allows a 33 inch seat pitch in all coach configuration, which is an exceptional amount of room by modern standards. If anybody has flown on Song, those 757s have 199 seats (the 200th seat would require an extra flight attendant). Still, expect seat capacity to be squeezed until load limits on the aircraft kick in. Like it or not, airline passengers have demonstrated repeatedly and emphatically that they will not pay more money for more legroom.

Joseph Hovsep said...

If this would significantly reduce the cost of air travel, I would sign up in a heartbeat, especially for flights that only take an hour or so.

Ricardo said...

"density modification program"

It's interesting how the airlines are trying to spin these "improvements". What's also coming through loud and clear, is that you can still be comfortable if you pay for the privilege. But the "cattle car" section of the plane is going to get less and less comfortable in the coming years.

Joseph Hovsep said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joseph Hovsep said...

Lots of people are willing to spend 30-60 minutes standing during their commute to work and back on buses and subways. It doesn't seem a stretch that those people would be willing to do so for air travel as well.

Icepick said...

Not that Joe, since you're going to be an ass, fair is fair and you will be treated as one.

You wrote: Since you consider these posts part of your job--snicker, snicker--one might think you would bother to get the facts straight.

Yesterday Ann wrote: But the problem is that my blog isn't all law, and I have ads, so I need to keep some separation between the blog and the Law School, even though part of this blog is regarded as part of my job.

Clearly, Ann considers the posts containing analysis of law or legal affairs to be part of her job. A snarky comment about airline attempts to pack passengers like cattle in a boxcar probably doesn't qualify as legal analysis, does it?

So, before admonishing others for their supposed lack of reading comprehension, work on your own.

David said...

It is too dangerous. It may well happen in third world countries but no sane Western carrier, not to mention a sane/savvy flyer, would subject themselves to that level of physical danger.

Always wear your seatbelt when seated on an airplane. End of story!

J said...

"Lots of people are willing to spend 30-60 minutes standing during their commute to work and back on buses and subways. It doesn't seem a stretch that those people would be willing to do so for air travel as well."

I think you're right about the attitude of passengers, but the operating environment of an airplane is considerably more variable at exponentially higher energy levels. Standing (and sitting) unrestrained carries far more potential danger in an aircraft than in a bus or train (though I've hit some pretty rough track switches on the subway).

bearbee said...

Why not have suspended harnesses similar to a parachute and have people hanging like bananas. It would eliminate the need for leg room.
First class could go to people stacking......or visa versus........

Astronaut flight suit rental would be available for the finicky to take care of bathroom necessities.

That should give a boost to the bottom line.......

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Icepick. (The post he responds to is one I deleted -- by one of my regular trolls.)

Ricardo said...

"... have people hanging like bananas."

What an image. With intravenous tubes delivering Starbucks directly into our brains.

Ross said...

I'm suprised they haven't tried stacking passengers in honeycomb sleeping pods. You could lie down and nap through the flight, when you wake up, you're there.

Probably waste too much time in boarding, though

SteveR said...

When they are paying people $25/hour to clean out the cabins, let's not pretend standing for a couple hours is going to save any money om fares.

Oh yeah as mentioned before "We are currently 12th in line for take off, as soon as the thunderstorm passes, we'll expect about 15 minutes before our turn. In the meantime, we'd appreciate your cooperation by staying in your seats... err staying in your spot, with your seatbelts.. err harnesses securely fastened."

bearbee said...

"Probably waste too much time in boarding, though"

Nonsense.......develop a honeycomb with pods with to acommodate 20 or 30 people hooked up to chutes and instead of walking down a ramp they just slide 'em in. Once filled and sealed each canister is lifted into the plane and locked into place.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maxine Weiss said...

Are the airlines considered public transportation?

Is there something called a "right" to fly?

Peace, Maxine

jeff said...

I can see Hawaiian and Aloha Airlines doing this for their inter-island flights...

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Upside: minimize the deep-vein thrombosis risk of long flights.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Just to be clear, "Not that Joe" is not this Joe, but he probably means he's not some other Joe since I don't know Not that Joe.

SteveR said...

JOE: He's not JOE, he's not Joe Mama, and he don't know Jack

Drew W said...

Flight attendant: "The pilot has informed me that we're approaching our final destination. Please return your tray-tables to their locked and upright positions. And you folks in coach, be sure to do the same to yourselves . . ."

Pastor_Jeff said...

I'm 6'6". I can barely fit into a regular coach seat as it is, and I can't afford first class. I thank God I don't fly often. From the smell of jet fuel to the routine indignities of security screening and the $5 hot dogs in the airport (I'm old enough to remember when airlines actually fed you), it can be a miserable experience all the way around. It's obvious that airlines hate their customers and want to punish them as much as they can get away with.

The one saving grace? When a kindhearted gate agent takes pity and gives you an emergency row seat. Heaven!

Ann Althouse said...

They hate us for being cheap, and we hate them for being cheap. What's the solution?

Eli Blake said...

I try to avoid flying whenever possible. A couple of years ago, we drove to Canada and back (we live in Arizona). And if I don't have to go, I don't. If I do, I may even take the bus-- because I figure it'd be less hassle.

I know, they want to ship people as cargo, if we'd all just let them tape us inside a cardboard box that they could chuck into the cargo hold and then send us out to the pickup area on a conveyer belt where the box would be open and we'd be dumped out on whichever end was the end they opened, then they'd be happy.

Icepick said...

Thanks, Icepick.

Ann, no problem. I don't mind people being jerks, but they'd better be good at it. The deleted comment was just weak.

J said...

"They hate us for being cheap, and we hate them for being cheap. What's the solution?"

They don't hate anyone; they're just trying to give the customer what they want, and the customer says what they want are the cheapest tickets possible. There are a few customers who want to be more comfortable, and there's first class for those folks, but in general the public has rejected airlines that tried to put extra legroom in coach (Western, TWA, Continental and American to name four)without mercy.

That said, perhaps the solution is realistic marketing - the US airline with the highest customer satisfaction will not feed you, transfer bags, or even give you a seat assignment. Another thing they don't do is run commercials featuring passengers in airborne lazy-boys eating steak and lobster.

Phelony Jones said...

When it comes to transatlantic, I'll take it

Pastor_Jeff said...

When I was a frequent flyer, I was willing to pay extra for more legroom and better service. I will pay extra for direct flights. I am still willing to pay an extra $20 to be comfortable and not be treated as freight.

There are some airlines trying to focus more on service and comfort than rock-bottom prices (Midwest out of Milwaukee comes to mind).

But you're right. The airlines can increase the passenger load in coach by 10% much more easily than they can get everyone to pay an additional 10%.

If I had information about how much legroom each airline offers, I would definitely use that in purchasing decisions.

Short of that, the solution for me is to fly as infrequently as possible.

J said...

"If I had information about how much legroom each airline offers, I would definitely use that in purchasing decisions."

Here ya go: http://www.seatguru.com/

Also, as a safety tip, if you want a nonstop flight, use the term "nonstop", not "direct". Direct and nonstop do not mean the same thing in reservations-ese.

Pastor_Jeff said...

J -

Thanks for the tip re: Seatguru. I'd never seen that. And I do know (but apprently forgot) the crucial distinction between direct and non-stop -- at least I always remember when booking flights.

Nice initial, by the way.