Flying Human Cargo Class: Meet the Future of Air Travel

article-1215036-0686D58F000005DC-317_468x286We previously discussed the interest of RyanAir in transporting humans like cargo in planes by removing traditional seats. This is the inevitable continuation of the downward trend in airline comfort and passenger expectations. Now, there is a design by Design Q on the market that could be coming to an airport near you.

The picture does not do justice to the proposal without chicken running under the feet of passengers and luggage tied down on roof racks above the plane.

The view of passengers as inconvenient cargo has been more and more evident as airlines cut every possible luxury and charge for every possible comfort. The new design would be able to stuff 50 percent more passengers into crowded planes by treating them like steamer trunks.

Howard Guy, director of Design Q, admits that “[h]aving passengers face each other is not an ideal situation. But this will see increased revenue for the operator and more economical tickets for the passenger – so by keeping both happy, this concept makes an attractive alternative.” Guy has a rather perverse concept of attractiveness.

He simply notes that “the passenger can choose a flight facing forward in a traditional seating position, but he or she will have to pay more for the luxury.” Oh good, on various airlines, we now have to pay on for bringing our luggage, a modicum of leg space, selecting a seat in advance, drinking a coke, or eating a snack. Now, we will pay additional for the “luxury” of having an actual seat. Next we will be asked to pay for the luxury of a pressurized cabin — after a little ear popping and gasping may be acceptable for some passengers on a budget.

Guy further notes that military personnel have been traveling like this for years and are not complaining. Of course, he fails to mention that those planes are CARGO planes used to ship tanks or troops.

Of course, Design Q cannot take credit for the general idea or design of the new planes:

For the full story, click here.

17 thoughts on “Flying Human Cargo Class: Meet the Future of Air Travel”

  1. Heya i?m for the first time here. I came across this board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to provide one thing again and help others such as you helped me.

  2. Leah,

    Either you misread that or I mischaracterized.

    I love to fly. My dream job is starship captain. I’d walk to space if I had to deal with the TSA to get there though.

  3. Maybe air travel ought to be as painful and horrible as possible. Slaves were compelled to travel so their persistence is not typical. Slave ships had a small carbon footprint anyway, probably few polar bears were ever endangered by the Atlantic slave trade. But if only airline issued paper suits and security straps are allowed in empty padded pressurized cabins then people will travel less. This will enahnce the potential of internet communications which we all like here and help to save the planet — who can say this trend is not a good thing?

  4. From a different perspective I see it as a furtherance of the trend to assure the the wealthy and privileged are different from everyone else. There well could be cattle car airlines for those with less money and First Class airlines for the upper classes. It’s already happening with roads, Bloomberg would like to do it in NYC and the differentiation by class is happening everywhere.

    Back in the middle ages there were sumptuary laws that decreed death for any one dressing like a Noble. In this current Corporatocracy World are we that far away from it? Watch TV and see the elegance portrayed in those who are in commercials for
    Luxury autos vs. the people who people the Chevy ads. The messages have been there subliminally for decades, could the enforcement be far behind. I’m not predicting this, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    As to Bob’s comment about trains why do many other countries have safe trains that can go 325 mph and we’ve got nothing to compare? Imagine going from San Fran to LA, NYC to DC, or Boston, even Chicago. The trip would be faster than the current shuttles, use less energy and be less expensive. We wouldn’t need no stinking airplanes.

  5. “Guy further notes that military personnel have been traveling like this for years and are not complaining.”

    Apparently Howard Guy has never been in the military.

  6. Dear Professor Turley,

    With all due respect, the mere evidence that airlines are looking to boost revenue by offering cheaper seating is no means indicative that all airlines are conspiring to convert all forms of air travel into their version of the HMS Jersey (circa 1776-1783).

    Furthermore, as an attorney, i.e. ALWAYS HAVING LOTS OF READING TO CATCH UP ON, you may want to look into train travel. Irving Berlin claimed the sympathetic reverberation from the wheels clicking along the track helped him think. Just think what the same might do for you.

  7. “The picture does not do justice to the proposal without chicken running under the feet of passengers and luggage tied down on roof racks above the plane.”

    The ‘Grapes of Wrath Aeroplain Lines’ (*GWL*)

    Shouting through a cheerleaders’ megaphone (like used in ‘Winchester Cathedral’…a boddee o’ doe’):

    Folks, say them *final* goodbyes to yur kinfolk ‘fore boardin’ the loadin’ chute fur yur *Final* destination.

    Our Motto: All of our flyin’ customers *will* travel on the wings of angels for the ultimate mooooving experience

    The voice of a woman speakin’ loudly (as opposed to a flight attendant using a loudspeaker):

    Lissin up critters, put them durn feedin’ stanchions in the uprite position fur take-off; ya can put ‘em back down if’n we get airborn but this aint no in-flight meal trip. No need to worry yurself none ‘bout puttin’ ‘em back in the uprite position in the unlikely event of a *scheduled* landin’

    Screechin’ youngins’ ride in the 2-holer outhouse ‘ta the rear of the cabbn’

    More hollarin’ a’commin’ from the front of the ‘rplain:

    Howdeeee Folks, ‘dis sheer’ yur (hic-hiccup) Capin’ a’ speakin’ Thankey one n’ all for a’flyin’ on my maiden voyage for *GWL*

    Severed Wings fallin’ in sunlite
    Roarin’ injuns headin’ summers below
    They’s takin’ ya away (forever)
    N’ leavin me lonely
    Severd Wings slowly fallin’ outasite

    Doncha leave me I cry
    Doncha take *that* ‘rplain ride…

    An then cue the melody of the Everly Brothers:

    Ebony Eyes….(this cover was juss too corney to avoid)

  8. Mike Appleton writes: “Great design. All they need to add is parachutes. Then they can just push us all out the door when we’re close enough to our destination and save all those landing fees.”

    To which I say, “Well, if it’s good enough for D.B. Cooper…..”

    Psssst, Buddha – I don’t love to fly either. I remain convinced that if God intended us to fly he would have given us first-run movies and pre-packed parachutes, not to mention internal spigots with automatic turn-on valves to keep the vodka flowing, instead of that pitiful little shot of adrenalin we get when the plane rolls over a dozen or so invisible boulders (as on every flight I’ve ever been on). In 1986, on a flight from Minneapolis to Seattle, over thunderstorms all the way, in a giant metal tube that, for all I know, was nothing more than a huge yo-yo with protrusions supposed to be wings, I promised God that if He would get me down from there alive, I’d never do that again. He did, and I’ve been as good as my word. Give me a 1963 Ford and a level road with guard rails on the hills, and I’m happy as a cow in a cornfield.

  9. Mike Appleton 1, September 22, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Great design. All they need to add is parachutes. Then they can just push us all out the door when we’re close enough to our destination and save all those landing fees.

    I have a question: Under this theory, I could see for not charging extra for carry on, but if you had luggage in the cargo hold, would they charge you extra for the parachute?

  10. Great design. All they need to add is parachutes. Then they can just push us all out the door when we’re close enough to our destination and save all those landing fees.

  11. I don’t think any airline would accept such a design and fly such an airplane as is depicted in the accompanying drawing. They’d demand three times the seats in the same space.

  12. It’s a publicity stunt. Design Q creates designs for the upscale transportation market. And just by looking at the picture, I can’t imagine you’d get any more people in that plane, let alone 50%.

  13. I’m not connected with the airline industry in any way except as just another passenger, but I’d argue passengers are getting the comfort they’re willing to pay for. In surveys people might say they’re willing to pay extra for more legroom, but in the real world people will bail from airline A to airline B to save ten bucks, even if they have to fly strapped to the wings. They’ll bitch and moan about the legroom after the flight, but they’ll also brag about how they got the family to Disney World for $200 apiece.

    Best example would be American, which to great publicity added about three inches of legroom by removing seats from its planes, and saw no increase in revenue per seat to make up for the missing seats (or not enough to make it worthwhile). I believe the late TWA tried something similar earlier and got the same result. Even among business travelers, many employers have policies requiring travelers to take the cheapest flight and require higher-level signoff to bend the rules. My previous employer gave me $40 leeway.

  14. They could just quit providing passenger service altogether. They might as well if some nitwit is stupid enough to buy their planes rigged this way. The airline industry is really hard to by sympathetic towards. They constantly show bad judgment in both management and execution of operations (example – flying empty planes and charging the maximum possible for a last minute ticket – the morons should be discounting them).

    I want a return to Zeppelins. I’m not in that much of a hurry, it’s greener and by it’s nature it’ll be more comfortable than the meat wagons the major airlines moving toward using instead of planes designed for actual humans. Because right now?

    I look for excuses NOT to fly whenever possible. And the sole reason (pssst . . . it’s not because I don’t love to fly)?

    Crappy customer service from airlines (almost without exception), airports (in all fairness, some airports proper are very well run and not unpleasant at all) and the monkeys running the security theater at TSA (without exception).

    If a phone call saves me from having to deal with their nonsense, if it takes 10 calls, it’s worth it not to have to deal with the airlines rude service and losing my luggage yet again.

  15. Looks like a flying subway car. If anyone has ever looked at and studied the design of the “original Rail Cars” we really have not evolved that much. Now meat packers united, knew you’d find a job after Walmart cut your jobs.

  16. These airline people just do not get it. If you fly us in reasonable comfort and get us their on time for a reasonable price, you will get plenty of passengers. On a long flight, who will be able to stand or sit without a backrest and decide that this is a good deal?? I don’t get it.

Comments are closed.