April 25, 2006

Why pay for a seat on an airplane would you could ride standing for less?

The New York Times today reports, in "One Day, That Economy Ticket May Buy You a Place to Stand" by Christopher Elliott, that aircraft manufacturers have been suggesting the idea to their customers.

Here's the punch line: "Passengers in the standing section would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness, according to experts who have seen a proposal."

And here we thought flying today was already a masochistic adventure.

[Post-publication addendum (May 5): The New York Times ran a correction on May 2 backing away from this story: "During preparation of the article, The Times's questions to one aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, were imprecise. The company now says that while it researched that idea in 2003, it has since abandoned it."

[And an editor's note published yesterday further explains, albeit awkwardly, the correction: "A correction of the article appeared on this page on Tuesday. It should have acknowledged that if The Times had correctly understood the history of the proposal, the article would have qualified it, and would not have appeared on Page A1."

["Never mind," as they say.]


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