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Standing room only? On an airplane?

Christopher Elliott writes in today's New York Times (registration required) that some airlines are toying with the idea of installing standing-room "seating" on their planes.

According to Elliott, "Airbus has been quietly pitching the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none have agreed to it yet." The idea behind this madness is that financially troubled airlines may be willing to do anything to cut costs, even if it means creating a standing-room-only section in which "passengers...would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness."

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While this sounds more like medieval torture than flying the friendly skies to me, I wouldn't put it past some desperate airlines to give it a shot. Let's hope this type of configuration is only ever used on short-haul flights. I don't think I could handle a cross-country red-eye spent on my feet, let alone strapped to a board.

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