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    Standing room only for Ryanair passengers

    Airplane InteriorRyanair's latest cost cutting scheme is possibly their weirdest yet. Following recent announcements proposing a £1 charge for using toilets on board, a 'fat tax' to penalise overweight passengers, and plans to make customers carry their own luggage right up to the plane, Chief Executive Michael O'leary is now seeking approval from the Irish Aviation Authority for travellers to stand for the duration of a flight.The concept isn't quite as dangerous as it sounds - you wouldn't be left clinging to an overhead strap every time turbulence sets in. 'Vertical seats' (a bit like bar stools) would be supplied, complete with seat belts to hold you in place. The idea apparently came from Chinese airline Spring, which has put forward similar plans. According to reports in the Mail Online and the Telegraph, Ryanair has already held talks with US plane manufacturer Boeing to design and build an aircraft featuring standing room areas.It's estimated that space could be made for up to 50% more passengers per flight, meaning costs could be cut by 20 - 50%. If the scheme gets the go-ahead, standing planes could be launched in 2011, though they will be restricted to traditional commuter flights of less than two hours.I suppose Ryanair is simply bringing its own low-cost travel service into line with other forms of public transport. We've been used to standing on buses and trains for years, so if safety standards are fully complied with, why should air transport be any different? After a number of complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority, the company has promised to give more prominence to information regarding 'optional' charges, and will be providing clearer details about its promotions and low price guarantee, so is this latest initiative an opportunity for us to benefit from even cheaper no-frills flights, or is it just another profit-making scheme that will result in hoards of tired-legged travellers? Do let me know your thoughts on the subject.

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