Could you imagine flying 30,000 feet in the air in an aircraft while standing up? Well, one airline wants to make that bizarre scenario a reality.
Budget airline VivaColombia wants to remove all the seats from its planes, forcing travelers to stand up.
According to The Independent, the goal behind this strategy is to drive down fares by allowing the airline to fit more passengers into every flight. The lowered fares would help make air travel more accessible to working class Colombians.
“There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up. We’re very interested in anything that makes travel less expensive,” VivaColombia’s founder and CEO William Shaw told the Miami Herald.
“Who cares if you don’t have an inflight entertainment system for a one-hour flight? Who cares that there aren’t marble floors…or that you don’t get free peanuts?” he added.
The standing room only flights are a plan for the future, but in the meantime, the airline will add 50 new Airbus 320s to accommodate Colombia’s bustling tourist industry. The new fleet will have more seats and lower operating costs, The Independent reports. The first one is set to go into service at the beginning of next year.
The concept of standing areas on planes has been tossed around before by other airlines, such as Ryanair, but vertical seats have not been approved by Civil Aviation Authorities in any country as of yet.
“People have to travel like human beings,” said Civil Aviation Director Alfredo Bocanegra. “Anyone who has ridden on public mass transport knows that it’s not the best when you’re standing.”
Currently, companies such as American Airlines have been cutting down legroom between their seats to create more space inside planes.
Although most other forms of mass transportation — including trains, buses, and ferries — have standing options, air travel is much different than land and water.
The processes of taking off and landing as well as hitting turbulence on a plane are all moments when it would be quite difficult to keep yourself steady if you’re standing.
It's also unclear if the concept of vertical travel is specifically geared toward short flights. However, it's likely safe to surmise that most passengers would not be willing to fly across the nation or out of the country without an actual seat.
Banner / Thumbnail : Flickr, Bradley Gordon