The USP for air travel has always been that it helps to cover long distances in a short time, but it is also one of the costliest ways to travel. Airlines constantly try to increase their ridership by introducing new schemes in return for low air fares; like less baggage, no food or no in-flight entertainment.
Recently, Colombian budget airline VivaColombia considered plans to remove seats from its planes altogether and make their passengers stand during travel. However, Columbia’s Civil Aviation Director Alfredo Bocanegra wasn’t impressed with this idea. “People have to travel like human beings,” The Independent quoted him as saying.
VivaColombia is now looking at vertical seating arrangement. “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. 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?” the Independent quoted VivaColombia’s founder and CEO William Shaw as saying in the Miami Herald.
The seats would be similar to a bar stool with a low back meant for passengers to lean into, versus actually sitting down upon. There would be no tray table and a lean arm rest between each passenger seat. Different designs of seat belts are being proposed, while some suggest that the whole seatbelt idea can be done away with.
In 2010, Irish budget carrier Ryanair had proposed the idea of “vertical” seats, and initially the seats looked similar to a roller-coaster. Company’s spokesperson Stephen McNamara told the Daily Mail, “We are very confident that the seats can pass safety tests. Boeing can put a man on the moon so I am sure they are able to make these a success.”