Will passengers stand for latest Ryanair stunt?

Just when you think Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary can’t come up with another way to mess with his passengers, he takes away the seats. The European low-cost carrier’s latest way to cut costs and cram more people on planes is to stick them on stools with seatbelts. According to the Daily Mail, he’s even spoken with Boeing about making this happen.

The nice expression for this, used Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara, is “vertical seating.”

But, it’s not a sure thing. The Irish Aviation Authority needs to give him the green light. Something tells me that there has to be a safety issue buried in this. There just has to be. If not, well, let them stand.

The airline estimates that it could increase passengers per flight by 30 percent with the standing room approach and at the same time cut costs by 20 percent. That’s a pretty big gap between revenue and expenses – the sort of financial upside that most airlines have been unable to figure out.