Welcome to our new Viking Slave Class!

September 16, 2010

Blog Guy, I’m planning some vacations and I wonder what I can look forward to in the world of airline travel. I figure it can only get better, right?

Sure, if that’s what you’d like to believe. But you might want to look at a new airline seat configuration, the so-called “standing seat,” just unveiled at a conference on aircraft interiors.


This is one of your outrageous put-ons, right, Blog Guy?

I’m afraid not. According to reports, the eventual idea is to create a new cabin class, BELOW economy. I’m not sure If they’ve named it yet, but I would suggest “Sardine Class,” “Emergency Morgue Class” or “Fall of Saigon Class.”

travel seats vertical this 240How long can people fly in that position?

I would think anything longer than the 16-hour flight from New York to Hong Kong would be a problem.

But wait, how do passengers even squeeze into those rows, Blog Guy?

The narrow rows are created AFTER the passengers are in place. Are you familiar with how a trash compactor works?

This is horrible! Then how do you get up to go use the lavatory?

You don’t. As I understand it, every seat is also a toilet. No extra charge.

Well, I don’t care what I have to do, after seeing these horrific photos I plan to start flying first class!

Um, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, honey, but this IS the new first class.

“Standing seat” slideshow

A photo blog from the photographer

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People try out Italian company Aviointeriors’ new aircraft ‘standing seat’ which has 23 inches of legroom, instead of the current economy class average of 30 inches, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Long Beach, California, September 15, 2010. REUTERS photos by Lucy Nicholson

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We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

I am soooo not travelling on those new airplanes… I need my leg space.. however little I may need.. i need it!

Btw, I would take this blog as a “bon voyage” wish, since I am going to be seeing some Vikings myself! :)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Uh oh. Looks as though Shra is off to do some pillaging and, umm, other Viking-like stuff.
Quick, someone alert the authorities and I’ll call my grandpa who lives in Gotenburg and tell him to stay indoors for a while.
Bon voyage Shra, and remember whichever airline you may flying, DON’T choose the chicken, and ALWAYS ask for a free upgrade, or an exit row, as you check-in. You just never know.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

I think people should be excited about the new “standing seat” considering on previous versions of the Basler BT-69 passengers had to sit on whoopie cushions. :)

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Hey, I would fly these in a heartbeat – if the arrangement was horizontal where you are laying down the entire flight in a tube/sleeping bag arrangement.

Less space needed and you could have a nap – even on short flights. Stack em up and turn out the lights.

Heck – there would be even less bother from annoying passengers beside you since they are in their own lexan tube.

Posted by Butch_from_PA | Report as abusive

Just when I thought airplanes couldn’t get any worse… this is absolutely ridiculous.

have you ever rode a bus or a train standing? have you ever rode a bus or a train standing… for 1, 2 or maybe 6 hours? let alone 14!

there’d better be some sort of seating support or this is impossible for more than 30-45 mins. you’re not just standing, you’re constricted to a sardine position with (judging by the picture of the bigger man trying to squeeze out) not much maneuverability.

p.s. a bus or a train cost no more than 3$ to ride either!

Posted by usANDthem | Report as abusive

Who would want to use the restroom at their seat??! how can that be done properly with privacy? That argument is aside from the limited space you are given in general. As a person with long legs, I relish having enough space to at least stretch.
I say go back to the drawing board, people. Seriously

Posted by elisetamar | Report as abusive

I knew it was downhill for airtravel when one of the major suppliers of aircraft became a company called Airbus.
Maybe Butch’s idea is better – you could install multi-layer bunk beds instead of seats, like they had two hundred years ago when immigrants were heading from Europe to America on leaky, smelly boats.
Funny how some things haven’t really changed that much.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Ifly, regarding the Basler BT-69 plane adopting this new seating configuation, I doubt it. You think we’re just going to DOUBLE the amount of space we give to passengers?

http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 10/05/11/flying-high-with-my-secret-care er/

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Bring back train travel. Stand up, walk around, have a drink, get a bite to eat. Truly civilised. Ocean liners too. Our ancestors had it right!

Posted by Gotthardbahn | Report as abusive

Surely, (not you Doc!) now is the time to bring back travel by air ship?

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

“You don’t. As I understand it, every seat is also a toilet. No extra charge.”

Priceless 😀

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Is it just me, or does the guy in the top picture, back row, seem perfectly sized to ride in the sardine section?

Posted by Jibberish | Report as abusive

Think of the marketing though!

“We at BasAir understand that your time is important to you. Other airlines would have you board the plane, sit down, only to have to stand back up again to de-plane. What a waste of time! With our revolutionary ‘standing seat’ now you can save those precious seconds it would take having to stand up, cause you are already standing!”

And the tag line: “BasAir, we know you want to get the hell off our planes as fast as you can!”

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Ifly, you haven’t by any chance trademarked that tag line, have you?

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Agree with Gotthardbahn, bring back slow travel. Especially ocean liners (no, NOT cruise ships). In the 70s took one of last scheduled liners from Australia to Europe, the long way round. Took 6 lovely slow weeks to do it. Aaaaah! And Gotthardbahn, if you live anywhere near the Gotthardbahn, lucky you!

Posted by ExpatP | Report as abusive

I heard about the ‘saddle’ seat and it does scare me. If one does it, eventually several will. Just like the first-come seating has caught on. I have been around the airline industry for several years and seen trends crop up and you would think “Oh, that will never take hold.” and then it does! I am no longer as wide-set as I once was, but what if I get pregnant in the next 10 years? I will not want to fly anywhere in one of those seats.

Posted by PetPunkRock | Report as abusive

@Ifly: LOL 😀

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Mr. B. I will grant you trademark rights to that tag line under two conditions..

1) You promote me to official pilot of the Basler BT-69 for BasAir

2)Before each take-off I get to play the theme to Top Gun over the intercom.

Do we have a deal?

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

I guess so, ifly, although I’m honestly not sure why you want the official pilot position. Those guys tend to average about 42 seconds in the job. Oh well, just send me your Social Security number and bank routing information as a comment….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

@Ifly, you are on a roll – nice. I’d fly with you on BasAir, as long as when you are about to land, you don’t say what the PIA pilots say.

BG, what did you do different to bring out the un-regulars who think your blog statements are real? You really need to invest in the sarcasm font.

What is the dude in the upper right photo doing? Does the seat in front of you have a white board you can doodle on?

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

I get that, Dave. I’ve flown PIA, and it is a bit jarring to hear the pilot’s announcement include “enshallah…”

And yes, I was a bit surprised to see that at least one reader is willing to believe every seat is a toilet. I feel sort of guilty now, tipping off the airlines that people might accept that.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Come on Mr. B. I have been a follower and commenter on the OE blog for about a year and only now do you question my judgement and decision making? :p

Dave, when I land I am going to have the FO shout out “There is a MiG on our six, he’s all over us!” to which I will reply “I am going to hit the brakes, he will fly right by!” If he FO is any good and has been paying attention he will instantly reply “Yer gonna do WHAT?”

Oh oh and also whenever I contact the tower for a landing clearance I am going to do it by saying “Mustang this is Ghostrider requesting flyby!”

Yes… yes that shall all do quite nicely.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

You can be my wingman any time Ifly.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

No Dave, you can be MY wingman! And I challenge you to a game of volleyball. Skins vs. skins. Eh….ehhh? 😉

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Did I hear one of the newbies say, Seriously??
Now, where did I keep my zapper?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Judging by the close position of those seats I would think Virgin airlines couldn’t use them for fear of false advertising suits.

Posted by Logrus | Report as abusive

Wow. This reminds me of a certain movie theatre in Dublin I was at recently. (side note: Metroplis = awesome!). Anyway, in this theatre people have to sit sideways as the leg room is pitiful. It also means you have to co-ordinate with the people beside you to switch sides so your legs don’t go numb. That’s fine when it’s your mate beside you. Not so much fun when it’s a stranger.



Posted by egeria | Report as abusive

Spin, Nosmo… well, let me just say that that city was expensive… ahh, how I wish I wasnt on a tight budget…
and no… i was pillaged…. not the other way round!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Oh good, Spin. I suspect chicks who are “not sure what it means” are just what Dave and Pilot are looking for on their teams.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Mr. B. you are funny!

As for my dear, sweet, lovely 69Spinster might I suggest you obtain a copy of Top Gun and give it a watch. A certain volleyball scene might catch your attention.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Oh and just to clear up any misunderstandings I was simply referencing the movie when I made the skins vs. skins comment. I have no doubt Dave is a helluva guy but I am gonna stick with the female gender. Sorry Dave no offense but I just luvs me da ladies.

Now that that is out of the way I feel the need for speed! On my medidonut.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

G-d. Who wants to fly like that?

Posted by Calypso | Report as abusive

It’s like drinking a gallon of coffee mixed with Red Bull and Mountain Dew. Woooooooooo! 😀

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Now now.. calm down Mr.Pilot…
Spin, you definitely should watch Top Gun.. he he he… must say there are few films where Tom Cruise looked good…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive