Pakistan International Airlines is investigating reports that seven extra passengers were allowed to stand in the aisles on a packed flight to Saudi Arabia.
Dawn newspaper claimed flight PK-743 from Karachi to Medina carried 416 passengers last week, seven more than its total seating capacity of 409.
Pakistan Airlines said that this was nonsense and that it would not be possible to travel on a three hour flight standing up all the way. Mind you – sometimes when you are squashed between two people in the middle seat you might be better off standing up. The problem is that in an emergency you have no harnessing equipment and also no oxygen masks.
Standing only flights are not a new idea. Airlines are trying very hard to maximize the number of passengers they can take. It’s all about bums in seats – or in this case – bums with no seats. At one time a few years back it was rumoured that Michael O’Leary – the head honcho of RyanAir – was interested in the idea of “standing flights” or “vertical passenger plans”. Don’t you just love how corporate-speak makes this ridiculous idea seem almost sensible?
But back to Pakistan International Airlines. Wow – where would you put seven extra passengers without anybody seeing them –
No – that’s not a passenger – it’s a flight attendant. We all know that they would probably want to hide from us if they could. But there is NO HIDING PLACE
RyanAir’s idea shows that in many places there is not much difference between a bus and a plane these days – just transportation. So having to stand all the way on your flight would mean more passengers and lowest ticket prices.
But how the heck did these extra passengers get onto the Pakistan flight? When you think about all the checks that you have to go through to get onto a flight. First at the airline desk in the airport – usually after having shown your boarding pass to an official “guarding” the line up. Then you have to present it to the check in agent. Then you have to go through security and present it again. Finally you have to show your boarding pass to the gate agent. All this checking, checking…. doesn’t seem to work!