Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary: 'Seatbelts on planes are pointless'

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary: 'Seatbelts on planes are pointless'PA

Wearing seatbelts on planes is pointless and won't save passengers in a crash, chief executive of Ryanair Michael O'Leary has said, as he tries to launch 'standing room only' cabins.

According to the Daily Telegraph, O'Leary claims laws forcing travellers to wear seatbelts are useless, unnecessary and insisted upon by authorities he deems 'plonkers'.

Instead, passengers should be allowed to stand at the back on a plane, which he considers to be 'just a b----- bus with wings.'

The Ryanair boss said: 'If there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid, a seatbelt won't save you.'

'Seatbelts don't matter,' he told the Daily Telegraph.

'You don't need a seatbelt on the London Underground. You don't need a seatbelt on trains which are travelling at 120mph and if they crash you're all dead...'

O'Leary is currently looking to create 'standing room only' cabins for students and budget travellers, selling £1 tickets to destinations in Europe.

He suggested the back ten rows of seats being removed on aircrafts to accommodate the less-discerning passengers who would travel on their feet.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said that when it comes to landing, passengers could 'hang on to the handle' and it would be 'fine'.

'If you say to passengers it's £25 for the seat and £1 for the standing cabin, I guarantee we will sell the standing cabin first,' he said. 'No question.

'You should be able to choose from a safety perspective.

'We're not talking about areas of huge turbulence around Europe.

'We don't have heavy landings anymore. If you say to someone, "look, hang onto the handle there, you're coming in to land", they'll be fine.

'We operate 1500 flights a day. They don't come skidding in. This is a very routine, safe form of travel.'

The 'standing cabin' proposals are currently being ruled out by European Safety regulations which say passengers must wear belts during take-off and landing.

Outspoken chief executive O'Leary said: 'We're always looking for new ways of doing things; it's the authorities who won't allow us to do them.

'They are all a bunch of plonkers.'

He told the Daily Telegraph that flights should no longer be considered a luxurious experience and 'most people just want to get from A to B.'

'You don't want to pay £500 for a flight.

'You want to spend that money on a nice hotel, apartment or restaurant... You don't want to p--- it all away at the airport or on the airline.'

'The problem with aviation is that for 50 years it's been populated by people who think it's this wondrous sexual experience; that it's like James Bond and wonderful and we'll all be flying first class when really it's just a b----- bus with wings.'

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Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary: 'Seatbelts on planes are pointless'
Is it just us, or is there something seriously nut so about the concept of paying for the privilege of paying? It's a crazy, mixed-up world when you have to pay £10 to use a debit card which costs the airline around 20p to process. Of course, you could apply for one of the cards which are 'free' to use, but they change all the time and take hours to apply for. If we thought about it too hard we'd only ever sit at home and cry.

My dear, the garishness! Bright orange, purple, lurid yellow... it's enough to make anyone long for the days of a discreet livery of navy, red and perhaps a touch of silver. If you weren't feeling queasy before you got onboard, the combination of lime green uniforms and a £10 gin and tonic should do the job. Pass the sick bag – oh no, that's right, there aren't any.

It's all very well paying £3.99 for your flight to Stockholm, but you won't be feeling so clever when you land in a field in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lakes and forests, with no capital city in sight. Add on the taxes, extra charges and an hour and a half taxi ride into town and suddenly the national carrier flying to the main airport is looking like a pretty good deal. Especially when you factor in the professional service and free prawn sandwich you would have got...
Ah, the joys of the online no-frills airline booking procedure... First off, you have not got a choice: you can only book via the internet (the chances of finding a real live human to book with are about as high you being able to travel on one of the special offer days). You've then got to navigate the site without accidentally hiring a car, paying for golf clubs or adopting a small child. By the time you remember to print out your boarding pass within the correct time period, you're in serious need of a holiday...

The recent story about a certain airline which gave a man a sandwich and a drink after he suffered a cardiac arrest – and then charged him for it – just about sums up the no-frills airline attitude to catering. It's all about the money, money, money. So, three letters for you: B.Y.O.

Seriously, what is up with people who pay for speedy boarding? You haven't spent enough on extra taxes, credit card charges, baggage fees? Sure, whack on another hefty charge while you're at it, just so you can stand in the front of the queue and feel superior. The plane's not going anywhere until the povs at the back of the queue are on too, so save the twenty quid – you'll need it to pay for your cheese sandwich on board.
No, no, we don't really need to take anything with us on our holiday, honestly. We may be going to Norway for two weeks in January, but a toothbrush, t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops will do us just fine. The book, nappies, wet wipes and baby food ? No problem, they'll slip right into the one bag too, that's fine, don't need them at all, yes stick them in the overhead locker miles away from my seat, too. Marvellous.

Remember in the old days when the seat in front of you had a pocket you could stow your bits and pieces, magazines, bottle of water etc, instead of having to strew them all over the floor? They might be saving space and weight, but when your three-year-old starts projectile vomiting and the seat belt sign's on, suddenly a seat pocket full of sick bags makes a lot of sense. Ah, sweet revenge...

Jeez, there's nothing like 29" legroom pitch and a non-reclining seat back to force you to practice your yoga moves. Like human origami, we fold our limbs into unnatural shapes and wonder why we can't feel our feet by the end of the flight. And we're relatively normal! What it's like for a 6ft 7" man, or a 7 month pregnant woman with a 20 month old on her 'lap' doesn't bear thinking about...

OK, when you're paying more for your beer than your air fare, you can't expect silver service, but would a smile hurt? We feel for the cabin crew dealing with leery stag weekenders and bitter businessmen whose companies won't cough up for a proper airline, but it would be nice to be treated slightly more like a human being, less like a walking wallet from whom to extract as much cash as possible in a two hour period. Scratch card, perfume, magazine, £2.50 bottle of water, anyone?


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