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NYT: Airbus proposes planes without seats

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Published: Monday April 24, 2006

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The airlines have come up with a new answer to an old question: How many passengers can be squeezed into economy class? the New York Times begins on Tuesday page ones... Excerpts:

A lot more, it turns out, especially if an idea still in the early stage should catch on: standing-room-only "seats."

Airbus has been quietly pitching the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none has agreed to it yet. 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.

But even short of that option, carriers have been slipping another row or two of seats into coach by exploiting stronger, lighter materials developed by seat manufacturers that allow for slimmer seatbacks. The thinner seats theoretically could be used to give passengers more legroom but, in practice, the airlines have been keeping the amount of space between rows the same to accommodate additional rows.

FULL STORY HERE