PHOENIX — One local travel expert says at least one airline is pushing for a new way to cram more passengers onto its already crowded planes.
Louie Thiele, of KTAR News’ “The Travel Show,” said United Kingdom-based Orion airlines may have something up its sleeve.
“The Orion air guy has been after a patent (for) standing room in the planes,” he said. “It includes having some kind of a bicycle seat that you brace against and you’re strapped to a pole and standing up for the whole flight. He wants to put even more people on the plane.”
Meanwhile, Thiele said the airlines don’t seem to care about the lack of legroom on their planes and are not likely to add to it. There have been three recent incidents where a lack of space between seats has led to confrontations between airline passengers.
“The only thing the airlines look at is daily revenue and the price of fuel,” explained Thiele. “The price of fuel could get worse, and this situation could get worse, believe it or not.”
Thiele added that with the price of fuel, it’s all about the bottom line.
“The airlines are long past caring about passenger comfort, unless you’re willing to pay for first class or business class on an international flight,” he said.
He also remembered a comment from an airline industry executive talking about why there are more seats and less leg room on the plane.
“I once was at a conference and heard the president of American Airlines at the time say, ‘Passengers get the seats that they deserve,'” he said. “He meant that passengers don’t want to pay higher prices, so we’re going to have to put more seats on the plane because of higher fuel prices or whatever.”