Ryanair Passengers Willing To Stand For FREE

RyanAirRyanair is famous for creating media buzz with the strangest ideas, including collecting money for using the restrooms onboard, or asking passengers to actually carry their luggage all the way to the airplane. Their latest such idea is to install standing “seats” for passengers on short flights. This idea has also been raised by the Chinese low-fare airline, Spring, not so long ago. Ryanair has claimed they are in talks with Boeing to install such devices (let’s not call them seats), but Boeing has not yet confirmed or denied such a study being conducted.


Ryanair however, took the idea one step further, with conducting a survey on their site. During two weeks in July 2009 they were asking their website visitors three questions – that were answered by 120,000 people. Today (22nd July) they announced that over 80,000 (66%) passengers said they would stand on short one hour flights if it meant that their fare would be free (FREE – not simply cheap). 72,000 (60%) agreed that airline passengers should have a choice of standing on short flights as they already do on buses, trains and underground transport while a minority of 50,000 (42%) said they would stand if they could pay 50% less than seated passengers. This means most of the passengers are only willing to stand – if the fare is FREE. Simply offering cheaper fares will not do the trick – in case the majority of the passengers. However, 42% is still a large number to be considered.

Here are the results from the Survey:

 1. If it meant your fare was free would you stand on a one hour flight?
 2. If it meant your fare was half that of a seated passenger would you stand on a one hour flight?
 3. Do you think passengers should have a choice of standing on short flights as they currently do on trains, buses and underground transport?

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: : “With 120,000 passengers voting and 80,000 saying they would stand on board, Ryanair will continue to explore the concept of ‘fare free standing’ flights with Boeing and the relevant aviation authorities in the US and EU“. We are looking forward to this exploration, as it would only work for short, commuting flights. If an airplane is equipped with let’s say 50 standing “seats” besides the regular seats – it can only be used on such routes and can not be rotated to a longer a flight – unless it gets re-seated, or only sells the regular seats (at reduced capacity). This is very unlikely in our opinion, especially at Ryanair, as they already work with a very low turn-around time – that would leave no room for reorganization of the cabin. This would also break one of the foundations of the low-fare business model – the unified fleet, as rotation of aircraft and yield management would have to consider special cases for a few aircraft which would add to the maintenance overhead – in terms of scheduling and reservation systems. It is not yet know if such seating areas would require more or less cabin staff, how children would be handled with such tickets, how would the open seating work for check-in and boarding, etc. We’ll keep an eye on this development, though.

Here is a funny video about Ryanair’s idea (posted on their own website…): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymLWycAPZaQ

by balint01


3 Responses to “Ryanair Passengers Willing To Stand For FREE”

  1. 1 piao July 23, 2009 at 10:27 am

    According to a french Newspaper, Andrew Davis, Boeing’s communication manager, said that due to securities issues they were not considering making passengers stand during flights. So i think it’s just an O’leary trick to make people talk about his firm

  2. 2 balint01 July 23, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Thanks for you comment piao!
    I agree, this is another one of those O’leary marketing tricks – that’s why I began the article with that sentence – and I think the brief thoughts about the complications towards the end would also prove that this is something not very likely to happen from an operations point of view. The only thing that worries me is that other Chinese operator coming up with the same idea… At the moment I see a higher possibility that it happens in China, than in Europe.

  1. 1 Vola in piedi a €4, la nuova idea low cost di Ryanair Trackback on November 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

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