July 6, 2009

Ryanair seeks standing room on planes

Low-cost Irish airline Ryanair says it is seeking permission to sell standing room tickets on flights.

Such passengers would be charged less than regular seats, and Ryanair is seeking permission from the Irish Aviation Authority to allow standing room before ordering new aircraft, the British tabloid The Sun reported Monday.

The newspaper said such standing fliers would huddle next to what have been described as bar stools, to which they would be attached by seatbelts. A Ryanair spokesman said, If they approve it, we'll be doing it.

Airline chief executive Michael O'Leary has said he has held talks with U.S. plane manufacturer Boeing about designing a jet with standing room, The Sun reported, saying he got the idea from Chinese airline Spring, which estimates it could pack in as many as 50 percent more passengers and cut costs by 20 percent by using standing room.