Overpriced flights may become a thing of the past for South American airline VivaColombia.
The airline’s founder and CEO, William Shaw, is dedicated to making air travel more achievable for his passengers by drastically reducing ticket prices. And although this may seem like an honourable mission, it does come with a slight catch – you’ll need to sacrifice your seat.
The airline is currently floating around the radical – not to mention discomforting – idea of removing all seating from the plane, and instead, making passengers stand up during the flight.
And despite it sounding completely ridiculous, the reasoning behind this is actually quite simple. By squeezing more passengers on a plane, the airline would be able to sell more tickets, making it more affordable. And let’s face it – most airlines don’t have adequate leg room as it is, so what’s a little more discomfort mean when it could save you a few hundred bucks?
Seems like a fantastic idea, right?
Well, this isn’t the first time an airline has tossed around this “fantastic” idea. Back in 2003, Airbus tried to introduce vertical seating on their aircrafts. And in 2010, the Irish airline Ryanair announced plans to offer $7 tickets for passengers to stand during the flight. Even China-based Spring Airlines discussed its plans for vertical seating just two years ago.
But hold onto your seat belts, because none of these ideas have taken off.
In each case, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), has immediately shut them down. And unfortunately for Shaw, it looks like VivaColombia may suffer the same fate.
Turns out that standing on a plane isn’t just a matter of herding passengers in like cattle and telling them to pick a spot. In fact, there’s a hefty amount of manufacturing rules and regulations that VivaColombia would need to follow in order to make standing on planes even remotely safe. And according to the CAA, “unless they can make it 100 per cent safe, it won’t be viable.”
On top of the safety concerns, let’s not forget about the ethical concerns, as well.
“People have to travel like human beings,” Colombia’s civil aviation director stated. While it’s one thing to stand for a five minute bus ride in the city, it’s a whole different thing to stand for hours on end 35,000 feet in the air.
Sorry Shaw, looks like your big plans for “cattle class” may be in for a crash landing. For now, we’ll stick with our good old, overpriced, economy class seating.