VivaColombia is the latest low-cost airline to show interest in vertical seating. In other words, standing seats. However, they’re not the first airline to consider stand-up flights. The reason behind these seats: lower costs for passengers. But why haven’t we seen these in use before?

“There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up,” VivaColombia’s founder and chief executive William Shaw told the Miami Herald.“We’re very interested in anything that makes travel less expensive.”

Essentially, this new way of travelling will cram even more passengers onto flights – and save on ticket cost. Anyone who’s experienced standing up on public transit, knows it can be less than ideal. So, why haven’t these airline stand-up seats flown yet?

Airline Stand-Up Seats: Why They Have yet to Fly


1. They’re a comfort compromise

When you think of being comfortable, standing rarely comes to mind. We know it’s healthier for us and better for our bodies, but who in their right mind wants to spend more than an hour or two on their feet? And in most cases, less than even that. We just don’t see how this would be feasible on long-haul flights.

2. Seatbelts are a major issue

When you’re standing on a subway and the train comes to a halt or takes a sharp turn, it can be hard to keep your balance. So now imagine that you’re on a flight that’s traveling several hundred miles an hour and you hit some turbulence. Uh, oh. This isn’t sounding good for stand-up seats.

3. They have yet to be regulated

Stand-up seats aren’t a new concept. But they’ve yet to be regulated. As we mentioned above, there are a few safety hazards to consider (not being buckled in, turbulence, etc.). Another version of the airline stand-up seats was built in 2010 by Italian seat design company AvioInteriors, called the SkyRider. It was designed for people to “perch” on. However, it never got approved for use.

4. No more in-flight entertainment

The whole layout of planes will have to be rethought in order to accommodate the standing room. Does that mean that we will no longer have personal movies?! And besides entertainment, what about food? How will you eat? Will you even be offered a beverage? We think it would be pretty hard to pass up snacks on a plane for standing only.

5. Even if they’re cheaper, is it worth these cons?

The cost of airline stand-up seats are going to be significantly cheaper than a standard seat. But at what cost? If there’s no entertainment, no food, no chance to rest your feet – is it really worth it? We asked our Dretloh team for their insight and the majority of us agree with standing seats on short flights, but make us stand from LA to New York? No, thank you.

If you find economy class seats too cramped for comfort, we have bad news. They may be about to get even smaller, if stand up seating ever does fly.