Chris Moerdyk

Sex and air travel doesn't work standing up

2012-12-17 07:54

Chris Moerdyk

I was fascinated by a story on CNN a while back quoting Ryanair CEO, Michael O'Leary, saying that seatbelts in aircraft are pointless and that on short trips planes should be allowed to have cut-price standing room only.

He was deadly serious.

As Ryanair - an Irish airline, which explains a lot of things - mostly flies around Europe on very short hops, it might just make a lot of sense because as O'Leary says, it is very rare that short haul flights there encounter serious turbulence.

Unlike South Africa where, for example, summertime afternoon flights between Johannesburg and anywhere and especially Durban can produce turbulence that without seatbelts would have the majority of passengers ending up in the overhead lockers.

It would be interesting to see, however, whether frequent commuters in Europe would choose to stand for an hour or so, hanging onto hand-straps like those you get in buses and I suppose if the standing room in a plane was crowded enough they would all provide protection for each other during take-offs and landing.

Think about it. How often have you got out of a plane at an airport and had to be ferried to the terminal in a crowded shuttle bus?

I've often found that to be a lot bumpier than the flight itself particularly when you have a gung-ho driver who likes testing his brakes to full capacity and taking corners like a F1 driver.

But then, that trip is only a few minutes.

I am not sure that I could manage even half an hour standing in a placing let alone an hour or two but then I am not exactly a teenager anymore.

It would not surprise me to see cut-price standing room only becoming very popular among the young and agile - students, backpackers and so forth. The sort of people who get their kicks from bungee-jumping or parachuting would not be the least bit worried about standing in an aircraft.

But, I reckon O'Leary is dreaming if he thinks that Europe and the UK are going to allow this to happen.  The UK particularly, being the world leader in the most ludicrous health and safety regulations.

I mean if they won't allow firemen to wade into a knee deep pond to save a drowning toddler because they did not have the right protective kit for that particular job, or if they insist on farmers having railings in their strawberry fields to stop pickers injuring their backs when they bend down, the they are sure as hell not going to allow anyone to stand up in an aeroplane.

Statistically of course, standing up in a plane is probably the safest way to travel. A lot safer that the journey by car to the airport.

Would you fly standing up? Do you like to have sex standing up? Would you have sex in a plane standing up?

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