Standing Room Coming to Ryanair? But What if You Can’t Stand?


It’s hard to pass on the opportunity to blog about Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary. After all, he just gives me such good material. First he charges for wheelchair assistance (and actually defends his actions), and then he wants to install pay toilets in his planes.

And now he wants to sell “standing room” seats for £1. To be clear, these aren’t seats at all but just spaces, with nary a harness, handle or even a grab bar in sight.

After all he claims, “seat belts don’t matter.” He goes on to say that “if there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid, a seat belt wouldn’t save you.”

Now that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

But the European Union doesn’t quite see it that way; in fact they require passengers to be belted in for take off and landing. Still, that’s not deterring O’Leary, who wants to get around the regulation and forge ahead with his standing room section.

I doubt he will be successful, as contrary to O’Leary’s beliefs, turbulence can be very dangerous when you’re not belted in. And let’s not even talk about heavy landings. Bottom line — seat belts are not superfluous.

But let’s just imagine for a minute that he does manage to skirt the regulations and implement this new standing room section. What if you use a wheelchair and can’t stand? Better yet, what if you use a small wheelchair that fits through the aircraft aisle? Could you then buy a standing room spot and just roll down the aisle to it?

After all, you’d be supplying your own seat.

Although the above scenario is highly unlikely, wouldn’t it be ironic if the man who once discriminated against wheelchair-users, would be the same man to offer the first wheelchair space on an airplane?

Stranger things have happened.