I try not to write about things that appear in the New York Times. Why? Because personally, I'm a slave to the paper, and I assume that many of my readers are too. Exceptions, however, must occasionally be made. I simply had to do a post about the most unremarkable remarkable travel news I've ever seen on the FRONT PAGE (for chrissake!) of yesterday's Grey Lady.
Yes indeed. It's the news that Airbus has quietly floated the idea of creating a "standing seat" that would allow airlines to cram more people onto their planes. I say, "Bring it on." Standing for a few hours couldn't possible be less comfortable than sitting in a typical coach seat on most carriers.
In all seriousness (since my bet is that this will not see the light of day for a long time, at least in the U.S.), my favorite part of the article was this quote:
"There is no legal barrier to installing standing-room seats on an American airliner. The Federal Aviation Administration does not mandate that a passenger be in a sitting position for takeoffs and landings; only that the passenger be secured. Seating must comply only with the agency's rules on the width of aisles and the ability to evacuate quickly in an emergency."
Fascinating. As long as we're upright and in a locked position, we're good to go. Just like the little tray tables.
Truthfully, you've got to feel sorry for the airlines. They've got it hard. And being able to fly coast-to-coast for $300 is still an incredible deal, even if the seat sucks. You know what? If I could purchase a $100 ticket to my hometown of St. Louis (a 2 hour flight), I'd stand.