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Transportation Businesses The Almighty Buck

Colombian Airline Wants To Make Passengers Stand (yahoo.com) 249

An anonymous reader writes Budget airline VivaColombia is considering plans to remove all seats from its planes and make passengers stand. They hope the move will drive down fares by allowing them to squeeze more passengers into each flight, opening up air travel to working class Colombians and budget holidaymakers. The no-frills carrier announced last week that it is adding 50 new Airbus 320s to its fleet to capitalise on the country's growing tourist market. The new planes will have more seats and lower running costs with the first one going into service at the start of 2018. VivaColombia's founder and CEO William Shaw told the Miami Herald the airline was looking into vertical travel options. He said: "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." He added: "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?"
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Colombian Airline Wants To Make Passengers Stand

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:03PM (#54736327)

    Its Indian competitor is going to allow people to stand on TOP of the planes, just like on the trains!

    • That or just strap them to the wings.
    • Re:That's nothing! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:17PM (#54736441) Journal

      Yip, third-world travel [pinimg.com] can make even our chintziest services seem good in comparison.

      Many conservatives point out that even our very poorest often have it better than many in the 3rd world. But, why aim our economic system so low? Don't we want to get better over time instead of back-slide into 3rd-world-ism? Or do they find something sacred about profits?

      • by saloomy ( 2817221 )

        But there is something sacred abour profits. Profit breeds competition, and focuses our potential into action. American capitalism built the modern world. Everything from the steel of skyscrapers to the airplane to the medical marvels we have are vastly developed and produced in capitalistic environments where the focused have the freedom and capability to do something that improves our way of life in return for the profits of their labor. What's wrong with that?

        In America, you have as the French would say:

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 03, 2017 @03:07PM (#54736871)

          Ladies and gentleman: American Exceptionalism on display. Meanwhile, back in reality land, the standard of living, standard of eduction, standard of health and standard of infrastructure has hit second tier in a steady downwards trajectory compared with the true first tier countries in Europe and Asia. This is self evident to anyone traveling to the EU or East Asia today, the US is second tier.

          American Capitalism was good at building stuff, but you might note that the new sky-scrappers are being built in a Chinese city, not in NYC anymore. And the largest airplane is a European A380, not a Boeing Jumbo jet assembled in Everett, WA. And the best application of medical marvels happens in South Korean with socialized medicine, not America with capitalist medicine.

          America needs to pull back on the dive into capitalistic oligarchies and kleptocracy and realize that people live in a society, not an economy.

        • Profit doesn't always breed competition. The barrier to entry might be high, meaning that only a few companies can actually participate in the market even if they get good profits. In addition, a monopoly in the market might result in high prices and the monopoly company squashing any would-be competitors before they pose a risk.

        • by ThePyro ( 645161 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @04:15PM (#54737483)

          Capitalism means competition. Sometimes the best way to compete is to develop a better product. Great!

          But we've learned a lot of other ways to compete, and unfortunately these other methods are often more effective. We hire lobbyists to change the laws in our favor. We hoard patents so that nobody else may compete. We use teams of lawyers to overwhelm competitors with litigation. We leverage monopolies to gouge consumers. We pollute the environment because cleanup costs are socialized and we get to keep the profit. We reduce quality or safety because we can retire with big fat profit sharing bonuses long before damage to the company's image catches up with us.

          None of these behaviors improve our collective standard of living, but these things happen on a daily basis because the system incentivizes them. Don't be afraid to question the system. It's not perfect.

          • Capitalism means competition. Sometimes the best way to compete is to develop a better product. Great!

            But we've learned a lot of other ways to compete, and unfortunately these other methods are often more effective. We hire lobbyists to change the laws in our favor. We hoard patents so that nobody else may compete. We use teams of lawyers to overwhelm competitors with litigation. We leverage monopolies to gouge consumers. We pollute the environment because cleanup costs are socialized and we get to keep the profit. We reduce quality or safety because we can retire with big fat profit sharing bonuses long before damage to the company's image catches up with us.

            None of these behaviors improve our collective standard of living, but these things happen on a daily basis because the system incentivizes them. Don't be afraid to question the system. It's not perfect.

            Well said. Ideas are meant to be challenged. I feel that these days that they are not challenged and everything has turned into sacred cows. More than that, people are making a profit off of myopic short-sightedness.

        • You realize there are these things called monopolies, right?

          Even Adam Smith warned about them, even if all we ever hear him quoted for is the "Invisible Hand".
      • by PPH ( 736903 )

        even our very poorest often have it better than many in the 3rd world

        This is a Columbian airline that is considering this.

      • "Many conservatives point out that even our very poorest often have it better than many in the 3rd world."

        But they do not point that out as a goal, but first to set the comparison correctly, IE what is described as being poor in America, with few exceptions*, not nearly as bad as it is proclaimed to be, and second, that despite assistance, the poor persist. That I have no glib answer for.

        * - notice many stories of the poor in Appalachia? Not many, for that is true poverty, and none seem very motivated to ad

        • Maybe if they voted in people who invest in government to make it better instead of ideology backed people who break govt on purpose then turn around and say "See! See, government doesn't work"
        • Considering my great uncle, who was an elected road superintendent for a county in the Appalachian mountains routinely carried a gun with him in his marked work truck because people would take potshots at him, I would say a lot of people in Appalachia want nothing to do with the government anyway
  • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:07PM (#54736365)

    Take Off and Landing sound like adventures.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Take Off and Landing sound like adventures.

      Probably not as compared to the adventure of being a working-class Columbian.

    • by dgaller ( 849242 )
      You just put hand-straps on the ceiling like a bus, it's the same idea.
    • Kind of like a Borg alcove.
      Securely fastened into a vertical sleeping chamber where the cabin crew's responsibility us to monitor bodily functions during stasis.

    • and see how that goes.

    • by YuppieScum ( 1096 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:41PM (#54736641) Journal

      What about the first time they hit some turbulence?

      *DING* "Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has just illuminated the 'Fasten Seatbelt' sign, so we'll all be safe while you bounce around the cabin like rubber balls..."

      *DING* "The cabin crew will be passing down the cabin shortly, offering a range of bandages, splints and blood replacement products at very competitive prices..."

      • There is basically only one way to make that "safe", and that is to strap everyone to tiedown points. You're going to have to wear a harness, and the harness will have to be attached to the floor and ceiling, and probably also to your neighbor. Air Bondage!

      • What about the first time they hit some turbulence?

        In the event of turbulence, the pilot is instructed to dive sharply so that the passengers are in free-fall, and they can bounce around safely like in those space shuttle training flights.

        ... yeah, I wouldn't want to clean up after it, either.

    • The pic shows a bare aircraft, so the people at the ends of each section will be squished like bugs, dead, if any significant longitudinal Gs were experienced (such as in every single takeoff and landing). Significant lateral Gs, like from an uncoordinated turn, could similarly squish a crowd of people against the sides of a completely bare aircraft cabin.

      Trains and buses don't have big empty spaces like those, and they don't experience signficant Gs in any direction unless there's a crash.

      Straps in the roo

      • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

        I don't see why, separating each passenger 'compartment' with a woven nylon straps, like what your folding lawn chairs use, secured to floor and ceiling would probably do the job without taking much space at all. Its elastic enough to prevent injury if you are rattled around inside it during turbulence or forced back against it during take off / landing, but stiff enough to keep people from banging into each other to hard.

        Not saying it would be pleasant but it would probably work and provide adequate safet

    • or turbulence that makes the plane drop faster than gravity. Hence the reason for the seat belts.

  • I figure this probably breaks one or two little safety rules, though maybe if it's only on domestic flights they don't apply.

    I'm certain that if you could get away with it Try-onair would already be doing it.

  • by corychristison ( 951993 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:11PM (#54736397)

    Super Saver Econo $49.95* New York to Los Angeles
    * add a seat with luxurious safety belt for only $449.95

    Also, it will be much easier to drag people off flights when its overbooked, without all of those pesky seats and saftey belts in the way.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ad absurdum:

      "Fly TREBUCHET airways! So anyone can afford a Weekend Fling!

    • by dargaud ( 518470 )
      I post this [gdargaud.net] every time there's some new airplane nightmare... Remember that it is from the 70s.... Quite prophetic.
    • Without those seats and safety belts there's no such thing as being overbooked! Just cram them on like a Tokyo subway. It'll only help during turbulence.

  • To this guy, having marble floors and having seats on a flight is the same level of unneeded opulence. Standing on a flight to pack a plane is ridiculous. Affordability should not mean making it a miserable experience. Why not start loading people into coffen size boxes and transport them in a cargo plane? If it's only an hour flight, who cares, right?
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      People decide with their wallets.
      If people prefer seats over cheaper flights, they will see elsewhere. If they don't, it means they accept the idea.

    • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:55PM (#54736753) Journal

      It's all about price.

      Think of it this way--the last time you booked a flight, what was foremost in your mind? Was it legroom? Was it the quality of the snacks? Was it the inflight entertainment system?

      Nope. It was "How much does this cost?" Price was the overriding factor. If Flight A was $40 cheaper than Flight B, you took Flight A. You bitched and moaned and complained about being stuck in like sardine, but you weren't going to pay the extra $40.

      There are a lot of people who feel that way, which is why websites like Expedia have a "sort by price" and don't have a "sort by legroom."

      • Honestly, I go by price because I assume all airlines are going to be just as bad as each other. If there were a sort by legroom option, I'd probably at least look at it. If it cost a little more for more room, I'd take it. The problem is, price is all we have to go on.

        • Check out United. They have a set of "Economy Plus" seats---no, not just the ones by the exit door--which you can get for an extra $40 or so. They have a bit more legroom, but the left/right distance in the same (you so you still fight over the armrest).

      • Legroom was foremost on my mind, which is literally why I haven't flown since 2002 and have no intention to do so.

        The problem with airlines is they think that the race to the bottom just means whoever reaches the bottom first gets all the customers. It actually, in practice, means that people start avoiding their industry altogether because they can't get an acceptable product.

        In virtually every market, that's not what happens. There's an initial boost of sales, and then they taper off, and start to re

      • It Jetstar was $40 cheaper than Air New Zealand, I choose Air New Zealand.

  • by Nkwe ( 604125 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:19PM (#54736459)
    There are stand up roller coasters which have safety / restraint systems designed to keep riders safe, even when upside down. So from the perspective of keeping passengers in place during flight, it is technically possible. Comfort is of course another matter. If you ever been on a stand up roller coaster, are male, and have had the lower restraint (bicycle seat) set too high, you would fear turbulence on a stand up plane.
    • Yeah I was thinking they would need something like this. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

      One thought I had: when they change seat configurations to squeeze more passengers in, at worst some passengers will think "that's odd, I don't remember it being this cramped". However this change is much harder to ignore and I suspect/hope this airline's sales will suffer as a result.

    • If you ever been on a stand up roller coaster, are male, and have had the lower restraint (bicycle seat) set too high, you would fear turbulence on a stand up plane.

      I recall going around a stand up roller coaster screaming.

      It had nothing to do with the excitement of the ride- fortunately, three children prove it didn't do any permanent damage.

    • it is technically possible

      Of course it is. There's been a patent on it for years.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

  • when there's enough turbulence that all of the falling down passengers roll to the back of the plane there wont be enough elevator to lift the tail == doesn't fly
    • by godrik ( 1287354 )

      It is not because you are standing that you are not strapped to something. If you are thinking like in a bus, then yes it is not going to work. But you could stand in front of a padding with straps to hold you in place.

      I think it is hard to stay standing up without moving for a long time. But that could work for some people.

    • Then the pilot can arc the plane over in to a dive before it stalls to move the passengers forward again.

  • An air-plane needs its centre of mass at defined position (with some small error). The article claims the use of some kind of "vertical seats" to force passengers to stand at their specified position most of the time. It might work. We will see.
  • I'm not saying I'd be interested in using such an airline, but it seems like it could work if they had standing "rests" that passengers could strap themselves to for safety. I mean, you couldn't have passengers being thrown about the plane in turbulent conditions, so they'd need to be secured in place, the way seat-belted passengers are. Also, to reduce the discomfort of actual standing, the backrests could include small, adjustable "choir seats", just a few inches deep, and adjusted to sit high enough that the passenger's legs are almost straight. The cabin would have to be tall enough to accommodate everyone standing, which might require removal of the overhead luggage compartments.

    For short flights, it could be safe enough, and not too uncomfortable, and would allow perhaps 75% more passengers on the plane, which would allow ticket prices to be reduced by about 60% -- a $100 flight for $40, for example. Lots of people would be willing to be less comfortable for an hour to save $60, even in wealthier nations.

    It could work, I think.

    • by koick ( 770435 )
      Of course squeezing 75% more meatbags and their associated luggage on the plane adds a significant amount of added weight which equals more fuel spent which equals less savings passed back to the now uncomfortable customers.
  • Instead of being strapped in your seat while the guy next you is bouncing off the ceiling, y'all can do the two step tango all throughout the fuselage.
  • Assuming they sort out the safely issues (I mean we stand on busses and trains and subways moving 50mph... my commuter train regularly tops 70mph here in America) yest take off and landing would be a bit sketch if it's setup the way a subway is, but if you take the time and effort to look at the problem from a new way, maybe add some specialized equipment... maybe it still can't be done, but it's certainly worth looking in to.
    If it were safe and say, cost half as much, $150 round trip to Seattle from SF at the gate (not buying in advance) vs $350 or even $500 recently, heck yeah I would be willing to stand for two hours!
    The elderly and sick, pregnant mothers, and people in wheelchairs would still have priority seating access of course.

  • No one kicking your seat back, no one reclining into your lap, no leg cramps, no potential blood clots from long term sitting. Assuming whatever protective harness they put you in isn't all that uncomfortable, I'd be willing to give it a try.

  • You occupy the same amount of space lying down, but it's a lot more comfortable. I'd actually like to travel on a plane that has bunkbeds on it.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      It's been tried. [fastcompany.com] The passengers didn't like it.

    • I've thought that this would be an improvement for a while, especially when flying economy on a long international flight. You ought to be able to get the same density of people lying down as sitting, and I might be able to sleep on a flight for once.

    • While I'm not opposed to the idea, it does come with challenges. For instance, the most likely first use for beds on flights would be on long-haul routes, but those are wide enough that keeping the side-by-side orientation we have now with chairs would mean that not everyone would have access to the aisle. So far as I know, trains and other transportation systems don't have to deal with that problem since they're narrow enough that everyone has aisle access. It may be as simple as re-orienting the beds so t

  • Different but kinda similar thing, I was saying post 9/11, TSA launch, recent Patriot Act passing fear mongering that given enough room, Airlines would start forcing passengers to get a change of clothes pre-flight, absolutely no carry on allowed, then get sedated, and then pille everyone up like luggage inside planes with the excuse of it being for the security of the flight or something.

    I guess this one is at least honest about the objective.

    People already get extremely packed inside public transportation

  • by mrun4982 ( 3875585 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @02:38PM (#54736619)
    and I used to be an airline pilot. I want the cheapest fare possible and have no problem whatsoever with standing for the entire flight. As for the safety aspect, that's easily solved with a backrest that you can strap yourself into. In fact, I think standing plus leaning up against a back rest is more comfortable than those crappy seats they fill the planes with now.
  • You're gonna go all Sully on the Hudson without all of those flotation devices? C'mom, man.

  • Hang them by their arm-pits!
  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Monday July 03, 2017 @03:05PM (#54736851)

    Claim you're eliminating co-pilots.
    Claim you're offering adult entertainment on flights.
    there was another.... hmmmm what was it?

    Oh that's right. Standing room only. [dailymail.co.uk]

    A recipe to ensure your name stays in the headlines for loads of free advertising.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I've noticed that on some flights they don't censor the movies as much, keeping in the nudity and sex scenes.

    • by illtud ( 115152 )

      Ding ding! Mod up - this is a tried and tested game.

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )
      Viva Colombia was developed by Declan Ryan, one of the founders of Ryanair and has had a hand in developing many other low cost airlines. So it should be of little surprise that he's recycling the same tricks he used in Ryanair.
    • Same shit different day. This airline, VivaColumbia, is partially owned by the RyanAir founders:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VivaColombia [wikipedia.org]

      VivaColombia is a Colombian low-cost airline based in Medellín, Colombia.[2] VivaColombia is the first true low cost carrier in Colombia. It is partly owned by the founders of Europe's biggest low cost airline, Ryanair.

  • Use more trains. That would reduce demand for flights. And any libertarian worth his salt will tell you that how supply and demand works.

  • Even as a working-class American, I would totally do this if it meant saving 25%-50% off shorter flights (2 hours).

    Sell it right and you can even market it to the hipsters, like standing desks.

  • People here are giving pretty reasonable posts, like you'd have to secure passengers, and so on, but I seem to recall that either Easyjet or Ryanair had some crazy CEO a few years ago who suggested this kind of thing and he was definitely not interested at all in securing passengers.

    After writing that, I just checked. Viva Colombia is owned by Ryanair. It all makes sense now. The idea got nowhere in Europe for safety reasons. Let's just say that Latin America in general has a much more, uh, "relax
  • How about an hour of extreme torture. Who cares? It's just an hour with no lasting effects. Just stand there, for an hour, with nothing to look at, nothing to see, and only one thing to smell. Try standing in your living room for an hour. Lean up against a wall. For an hour. Don't sit. Don't pace. Don't step.

    And without peanuts? Are you high? Have we forgotten the purpose of the peanuts? It's the salt. Salt effectively pauses the digestive system, along with a few other biological systems. It'

  • Provided that someone is willing to stand for a couple of ours, Do they think it will be safe?

    Ah, they can cram a few more persons if they ditch the toilet!

  • If the idea is to save costs, at all costs, then the first thing I would do is switch to a plane fleet with flying wing geometry and no passenger windows. Such planes could fit more people, they would have major fuel savings, and they would be far more compatible with standing room passenger compartments.

  • Nice firm wooden bench so you knew where your ass was when it came time to kiss it goodbye.
    And a couple things nearby to grip if turbulence got really bad.

  • by nospam007 ( 722110 ) * on Monday July 03, 2017 @05:08PM (#54737935)

    Stupid idea. People don't stay vertical by themselves for long.
    Horizontal is the way to go, quadruple bunk-beds is way better, I wouldn't mind lying down for a 1 hour flight, not even for a 24 hour one, better than economy any day.

  • No, they're not standing up. It's a "vertical travel option".

  • Actually I like the idea. This way I could come with a modern portable parachute say Air Pol SK-94 Emergency Parachute: http://www.afeonline.com/shop/... [afeonline.com]

    And I do not like those dorky seats anyway. I never watch movies on idiotic displays inbuilt in seats either. My smartphone has got much better display and headset. I just have to pay to transport those low-quality displays, and someone makes money on it.

Show me a man who is a good loser and I'll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss.