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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  • Jacques - 2012-12-17 09:15

    What in the hell has sex got to do with this article? Apart from that little question thrown in at the end? But oh well. Yes.

      Jacques - 2012-12-18 01:50

      You frotteuristic little man. Point made. Cheeio, now.

  • mike.mcc.71 - 2012-12-17 09:31

    I would like to hear what O'Leary thinks is going to happen if a take-off is rejected, just short of V1, with everyone standing up trying to hang onto a hand strap.

      Bob.Cee123 - 2012-12-17 19:39

      Airbags? Inflatable suits triggered by sudden deceleration? Magnetic shoes? Rapidly solidifying foam filling up the cabin? Just kidding. Good point Mike. O'Leary appears confused between out of the box thinking and utter nonsense.

  • flysouth - 2012-12-17 12:12

    With current aviation regulations this is impossible. Each person on board any civilian aircraft is required to be seated at certain times (landing, takeoff etc) and each seat must have a seat belt provided.

      kseyffert - 2012-12-17 23:33

      fly south, correct. He is talking about having that legislation changed...

  • colin.deruig - 2012-12-17 12:28

    Yes, yes and yes

  • earle.francis.9 - 2012-12-17 13:45

    Well, there's that long standing joke, if I recall it was standing room in a swaying train, where a working woman on her journey home, endured for a while - whilst holding onto the roofstrap, a male standing behind her - and very close to her buttocks touching his mid parts against her buttocks during the swaying. Thinking he was trying a sexual act she turned to him and said "scum!" To which he retorted, "Yes Ma'am, I'se scum twice already!"

      earle.francis.9 - 2012-12-17 13:46

      That was for you Jacques!

  • zwartsj - 2012-12-17 14:53

    First off You have how does Ryan air being Irish explain alot? second the firmen were not saving a todeler but rather a drowning seagull get your facts straight.

      kseyffert - 2012-12-17 23:35

      zwartsj, not the point (referring to the seagull issue of course. Being from another part of the world I don't understand the Irish reference....).

  • francois.viljon - 2012-12-17 16:50

    What is the big deal? I always have standing up sex in planes. I never had sex in a bus. At PUKKE in the 70's and 80's Standing up sex was prohibited. It looked too much like dancing.

  • mike.smith.1656854 - 2012-12-17 20:38

    The most disconcerting thing about Ryan Air's CEO, Michael O'Leary, is that this airline chief would ever consider something are moronic as suggesting that passengers could stand for "short legs". This guy is as disconnected from his core business as he could possibly be, and quite frankly his understanding of safety issues relating to flying is zero and don't think he should be running an airline. Fast rail is the future for shorter trips, and you can still sit and get there faster!

  • kseyffert - 2012-12-17 23:14

    No, yes and yes please! Seriously though, I still think this is a really daft idea.

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-18 06:14

    No, yes and yes. Possibly , yes yes yes.

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