Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary (pictured above) usually doesn't need any help coming up with ways to squeeze more out of his passengers. Europe's largest low-cost, short-haul airline has frequently made headlines over the past few years thanks to his austere plans, including charging for using the toilet, making people carry all of their bags right to the plane, and a "fat tax" for overweight passengers.
This, time, however, he's taking a cue from China's Spring Airline. Last week, we told you about Spring's plan to plant passengers on barstools with seatbelts, which would in turn cut the carrier's costs by 20% and allow for up to 40%-50% more people to ride. Ryanair, which has at one point or another charged for everything imaginable (airport-specific taxes, a fee for each piece of luggage, booking a trip using a debit card, etc.), is now the second airline to publicly court the idea, and approached Boeing about modifying its planes. All the airline would need is the approval of the Irish Aviation Authority.
"If they approve it," a Ryanair spokesman told UK's The Sun, "we'll be doing it."
As wild as it all sounds, it doesn't seem far-fetched to imagine a future where low-cost carriers ditch today's comparatively comfortable seats for something that takes up less space. Just like Spring Airlines wants, short flights would be much more like a bus ride.