Standing room airplane seats

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According to this NYT article, Airbus is pitching a "seating" configuration where the passengers are strapped up against a padded wall. If that takes off, it's certainly going to make Economy Plus a lot more attractive.

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The standing room option seems unlikely, at least on any route I fly. But the thinner seat back problem is real now. Where American had the equivalent of Economy-more-or-less-plus throughout coach, they now have very tight planes. That means longer times for loading and unloading and more cramming crap in overhead bins. Not pleasant now, and likely to get worse.

What's really irritating about these choices is that often the configurations can't even fly the routes fully loaded in common weather conditions. They have a plane configured to shove in passengers, in other words, they can't actually take. Of course, they can take them on some other route, and that means that the optimal (for the airline) configuration is chosen (since the plane may be moved to another route at any time). That's bad for the passenger, of course, because it means they will be crowded even on the longer flights where the airline can rarely use all the seats.

If they did this and eliminated overhead bins in order to sell bunk space, on the other hand, I might sign on. I'd pay to lie down, and I would do it any case, just to eliminate all that stupid cramming by people to busy to wait for their luggage.

Of course the airlines might just combine the two, and cram the luggage on top of me. I wouldn't put it past them.

Call me a cynic, but "experts who have seen the proposal" sounds too much like "Boeing's spin doctor" to be healthy.

The decreasing airline comfort and increasing time waste associated with airline travel is changing my purchasing behavior.

I think it may be time for a NetJets style co-op where you can buy fractional ownership of a group of airplanes and pay for real seats on regular plane flights between cities.

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