Flying above the clouds usually means you’re sitting down and not standing up.
That won’t be the case if Europe’s RyanAir decides to offer “standing-room only” seats for just a £1 to students and budget travelers. They wouldn’t even have seat belts.
“Seat belts don’t matter,” RyanAir CEO Michael O’Leary was quoted as saying in the U.K.’s Telegraph.
In an effort to boost sales and offer passengers a less expensive option for air travel, O’Leary said he believes more passengers are likely to pay for “standing-room only” seats before regular seats. RyanAir would place the stand-up seats in the space left after the last ten rows of seats in an airplane are removed.
O’Leary says this would give passengers enough room to stand and therefore pay a cheaper fare.
“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.”
And what about safety?
RyanAir’s “standing-room only” seats would not provide passengers with seat belts or safety harnesses of any kind.
“You should be able to choose from a safety perspective. We’re not talking about areas of huge turbulence around Europe,” said O’Leary.
But these conditions won’t fly with the European safety regulations, which state that all passengers must be buckled up for takeoff and landing.
This is not the first time the outspoken CEO of the Irish discount airliner has made outrageous announcements.
In 2010, for instance, RyanAir announced it was considering charging passengers to use the bathroom. There was outcry from industry insiders and frustration from passengers, and the fees have yet to go into effect.
For now, passengers can continue to enjoy the low fares RyanAir offers for regular seats.