Standing room only on Ryanair

No frills airline Ryanair has unveiled plans that could revolutionise air travel and reduce the cost of plane tickets drastically. They intend to introduce vertical seating on their planes, with standing room tickets selling at just £4 each.

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Fifteen rows of vertical seats will replace the last ten rows of seats on Ryanair planes, allowing between 40 and 50 passengers to travel on a flight.

Safety testing for the new upright seats will begin next year and once Ryanair have introduced the new style of seating, which harnesses passengers with a shoulder strap, on flights that last up to one hour, they hope to implement the vertical seats on all of their aircraft.

Stephen McNamara, a spokesman for Ryanair, said: "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.

"The appeal of doing this is that it makes the costs lower for the airline, savings are stretched across passengers, costs are allocated to more people, all fares will go down, vertical seats are cheaper, and weigh less.

"The seats are lighter and the carbon footprint will be smaller, as more seats fit into a smaller area.

"We have polled about 120,000 people - two-thirds said they would consider the seats if they were free, while 42 per cent said they would use the seats if the fare was half that of a traditional seat."

The Civil Aviation Authority are not convinced that the new vertical seats will meet current safety standards.

Their spokesman said: "It's aviation law that people have to have a seat-belt on from take-off and landing so they would have to be in a seat. I don't know how Mr O'Leary would get around that one.

These new seats are part of Ryanair's attempts to reduce costs since they have just been forced to cutback their flight capacity by 16 per cent. The low cost airline plans to reduce the number of flights from UK airports and instead use the aircraft in European destinations where there are low airport taxes.

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary said: "Sadly, UK traffic and tourism continues to collapse while Ryanair continues to grow rapidly in those countries which welcome tourists instead of taxing them.

"Ryanair's capacity cutbacks show just how much the UK's tourist tax and (airport operator) BAA's high airport charges are damaging UK tourism and the British economy generally."

Would you pay £4 for an vertical seat on Ryanair? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.