May 4, 2006

Standing room on airplanes.

We had some fun with this subject last week. So let's call attention to this NYT correction:
A front-page article on April 25 about seating options that airlines are considering to accommodate more passengers in economy class referred incorrectly to the concept of carrying passengers standing up with harnesses holding them in position. During preparation of the article, The Times's questions to one aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, were imprecise and did not make it clear that the reporter was interested in standing-room "seats." As a result, the article said the company would not specifically comment on the upright-seating proposal. The company now says that while it researched that idea in 2003, it has since abandoned it. A correction of the article appeared on this page on Tuesday. It should have acknowledged that if The Times had correctly understood the history of the proposal, the article would have qualified it, and would not have appeared on Page A1.
And for more fun anyway, see the new New Yorker cover. [No longer displayable.]


HaloJonesFan said...

Hehe, nice. I wonder how many people actually understand it, though.

And no doubt there's some die-hard libertarians out there who are thinking "well, that's perfectly all right, as long as the airline makes it clear beforehand that you must be put in an Iron Maiden in order to fly on an airplane!"

bill said...

No, die-hard libertarians think if you fly coach it's ok to be raped by your fellow cabinmates while watching American Idol and dining on roasted squirrel. Or I confused my Althouse threads again.

Art said...

Is Emily Litella editing the NY Times these days?

"Oh? That's different. Never mind."

john(classic) said...

". The company now says that while it researched that idea in 2003, it has since abandoned it."

Notice there is no similar statement about abandoning the "stack'em like cordwood" research.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would think that the problem with stacking people like cordwood would be inplane / deblane time. The longer this takes, the fewer segments that the plane can make in a day. One of SouthWest's accomplishments is just this - they get more segments a day from their planes, resulting in somewhat lower costs.

I would guess though that the solution to that would be to palletize the people. They would be loaded and unloaded enmass, and then loaded and unloaded from the pallets off-line.

This could be a problem with catching connecting flights, unless they also routed you like baggage. Might work.

For a lot of us though, it wouldn't make economic sense, because the cost of flying is just not that expensive any more for many of us. I spent about 8 years flying from wherever I was living back to CO every other weekend to be with my daughter, and the cost of some 50-70 segments a year was easily within my budget.

So, I can pop from here to Vegas or Phoenix and back for under $200 on SW and Frontier. Even at half that price, I would still pick sitting down for the 1 1/2 hours each way over standing (or being palletized).

Mike Ballburn said...

A pic of the "seats" is here:

Moan said...

oooooo...a Bruce McCall cover.

He's one of my favorites going all the way back to the glory days of National Lampoon.

I still have a copy of the '58 Bulgemobile parody he did for Lampoon ("So All-fired New, They Make Tomorrow Seem Like Yesterday!")...gigantic 50's style cars with huge fins sprouting from the tail end and a panoramic shot of someone on the rider's side of the front seat appearing to be some 50 feet away.

You can google up some sites that have pictures if none of this makes sense. There are apparently others that remember the Bulgemobile fondly...

Note that some of the examples about auto fraud use Bulgemobile.

Now if I could figure out how to do a link from the Blogger comments generator without having to paste the whole URL into the comment...