Monday, November 2, 2009

There is Something Wrong with the Airline Industry: UPDATE

As an innovative move, United Airlines will boost revenue by doing away with seats completely and instead stack them like cordwood.

"Research shows that we lose millions of dollars each month by having them all sit upright in individual seats for the duration of the flight," said CEO Glenn F. Tilton, speaking to reporters at United Airlines' corporate headquarters. "However, if we were to remove these seats, we could just sort of stack them all in there, one by one, as they file into the plane."

"If a 747's maximum takeoff weight is 875,000 pounds, then we should be packing that plane with 875,000 pounds," Tilton added.

According to a press release, the company estimates that the new policy of simply arranging them in a towering mound will allow it to sell approximately 20 times more tickets per flight. In addition, executives claimed they would be able to eliminate the unnecessary cost of in-flight magazines, chairs, seat belts, blankets, bathrooms, headphones, and oxygen masks.

Haha, another good story from the Onion. Except The New York Times carried this story in April 24, 2006:

Airbus has been quietly pitching the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none has agreed to it yet. Passengers in the standing section would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness, according to seating experts who have seen a proposal.

That the airlines are even considering such things is the result of several factors. High fuel costs are making it difficult for carriers to turn a profit. The new seat technology not only allows airlines to add more places for passengers, it also reduces a seat's weight by up to 15 pounds, or 7 kilograms, limiting fuel consumption. A typical seat in economy class now weighs 74 to 82 pounds.

I feel comfortable in the fact that Americans are far too lazy to put up with standing room only airplanes. [Times story via Nergol]

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