Airbus denies standing room 'seats'
Airbus disputes report it is in discussion with Asian airlines to offer padded backboards to have flyers stand in effort to increase capacity.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Airlines and aircraft makers are always looking to get the most passengers possible onto planes, but Airbus is denying a report that it is in discussions with carriers about having a standing room "seat" to fit even more passengers on its jets.
The New York Times reported that Airbus has quietly pitched the standing-room-only option to Asian carriers, though none have agreed to it yet. But a spokeswoman for Airbus flatly denied the report Tuesday, going so far as to call it "crap."
"Our passengers and customers want more and more comfort," said Barbara Kracht a spokeswoman for the European aircraft maker. "We're going in the direction of more comfort, not in that direction."
The paper, quoting experts who it said had seen a proposal, reported that if the standing room option is used, passengers would be propped against a padded backboard, held in place with a harness.
"To call it a seat would be misleading," Volker Mellert, a physics professor at Oldenburg University in Germany, told the paper. Mellert has done research on airline seat comfort and has seen the design, according to the Times report. Mellert could not be reached for comment by CNNMoney.com Tuesday.
The paper said that the use of standing room would allow the new A380 double-decker jet that Airbus is in the process of introducing to hold up to 853 passengers, compared to about 500 passengers if they were given traditional seats.
But Airbus' Kracht said that the A380 has been approved to hold 853 passengers and a crew of 20 all fully seated, albeit all in coach-class seating. The lower capacity is if the plane is divided into traditional three-class service with first- and business-class sections.
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