Despite the hype, they didn’t go there. Over the last few weeks rumors circulated wildly that Ryan Air was about to cross the Rubicon of cost-cutting measures by considering a “pub” class, or vertical seating on some of their flights. Leave it to the company that threw around such tactless ideas as a “fat tax” and coin-operated toilets. Turns out the story was an exaggeration, a hoax. So, yes, hooray for travelers not being treated like airplane luggage!
You may have heard of if it but the story went that for a discount off their already cut-rate prices Ryan Air would sell you “vertical” seating on its short-haul flights. There were even some over-zealous designers that went as far as drawing up plans for the seats (a kind of vertical gurney, in my opinion). But Ryan Air CEO Michael O’Leary has come clean reminding the public that airplanes have a certified maximum passenger load and any more would necessitate a complete plane redesign (more emergency exits, oxygen masks, etc). While Ryan Air and other discount carriers toe the passenger load line closely they’ve admitted it would simply be illegal to cross it.
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Either way it was a fun premise, recalling the iconic 1950s image of the people-stuffed phone booth. The hubbub it generated evidently was worth the publicity. At least for Ryan Air, there is no advertising like free advertising.