Ryan Air: Stand And Fly For Free!

4 July 2010

seats1 Travelling on your own can be expensive. Tamsin travelled up to stay overnight at my house last night after attending CyberMummy with 'the boss', and because the London Underground was manic she missed her connecting train and was charged £48 for a new ticket even though the next train was practically empty!

Throw children into the travelling mix and the costs really start to spiral, especially if you're planning to fly abroad on holiday.

The news has been awash with the announcement by Ryan Air boss, Michael O'Leary, that he's considering removing the last five or six rows of seats and allowing passengers to fly for free if they're happy to perch on bar stools or stand during flights that are an hour and a half or less.

"We might take out the last five or six rows and say to passengers 'Do you want to stand up? If you do you can travel for free'," he said, and he's reportedly asked Boeing to look at the possibility of vertical seats.

Arguing against the accusation that this is a budget step too far he went on to say, "Why is this any different to what happens on trains where you see thousands of people who cannot get a seat standing in the aisles? It happens regularly on the Underground..."

I was telling Tamsin about this, on the way to dropping her at the station this morning, and we were musing over how child friendly this move would be and the more I think about it, the more I reckon it could actually work  and be easier for parents flying with kids!

Getting a child to sit still in a seat for an hour and a half can be 'interesting', so wouldn't it be so much easier if they could mooch around for the duration of the flight? Play with cars on the floor if they wanted to or perch atop a bar stoo, rather than be strapped into a seat and told they must sit still and be quiet for the duration..?

ryanair standing seatsTime will tell whether this actually happens as Michael O'Leary has said that, obviously, this style of flying would have to be approved by the Irish Aviation Authority, but, you know, I think it would prove rather popular!

There's still a huge market for low-cost flying - Ryan Air passenger numbers for June were up 13% on last year whereas British Airways' were down 5% for the same month.

So what do you think?

Would you choose to stand and fly for free (or a very VERY low price, £4 and £5 are the other figures that have been thrown around)? Would it benefit families flying with small kids,  after all, if they're under two then they have to sit on your lap anyway!  Or has Mr O'Leary finally lost the plot?

TOPICS:   Family Holidays


  • Rolly
    Vertical seats will never happen - they need more reinforcement because your centre of gravity would be higher. More reinforcement = heavier planes = more fuel = expensive, so no saving. Its just typical O'Leary trying to be cheeky like a small child showing off.
  • Rolly
    Here's the article about it on BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8779388.stm
  • Robert
    Just found this article on the bbc http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8779388.stm
  • Eldini
    Grats http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8779388.stm
  • Meh
    If this is allowable then why are people told to wear seat belts when the plane takes off or lands?! Makes no sense to me...

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