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Standing Room Only Seats?

The NY Times has a disturbing article reporting that Airbus is considering a version of its A380 with standing room seats.  Yes, seats where you cannot sit down.  In theory, this would only be available on short-hop flights in, for example, Japan (Japanese airlines currently deny interest in these scheme).  Unsettling, yes?  The article also notes (and this won’t shock you) that airlines are squeezing more seats in coach these days. 

On a positive note, the Airline Interior Expo is going on right now and airlines are showing off what first class flying will be like in the future (read: lots of space, lots of electronic gadgets).  The gap between the haves and the have-nots will keep growing on planes (just as it does everywhere else).  Thanks to Engadget and travelnate for the heads up.

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  1. I can’t be 100% sure, but I believe this story is bogus. I’ve found this particular reporter (Chris Elliott) to often be unreliable in his reporting. FWIW, Airbus itself is calling it “crap.”

  2. I’ll stick up for Chris Elliott a bit. In his role as a “travel problem solver” I’ve found him to be the only guy in this role who doesn’t let consumers whine about travel problems they’ve had — he always points out where they should’ve done something different rather than just blaming the airline or hotel or whoever.

    That said, this story seemed odd, tho not implausable…and if it IS wrong, I blame the Times for putting it on their front page (but I bet it turns out to be true…)

  3. Chris is certainly better as a travel ombudsman than with his coverage of industry developments. I really don’t think this was a serious study by Airbus. Think about it — it’s pretty much nuts! Nobody — and I mean nobody — is going to buy a “standing room only” ticket on an airline. And, frankly, I doubt the safety authorities would ever allow it. What are they going to do — tape you to a board? It’s just a goofy idea.

  4. I agree, it’s goofy. But would you pay $15 for a LGA-BOS or LGA-DCA shuttle flight standing up? The flight’s about as long as my subway ride in the morning.

    Realistically? This’ll never happen…

  5. If anyone still cares, Mike Boyd has a good discussion this week on how bad journalism caused this crazy story to be printed in the NYTimes. http://www.aviationplanning.com/asrc1.htm

  6. Actually, I see that the NYTimes ran a correction today regarding Chris’ story. He had a good run. :http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/pageoneplus/corrections.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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