Russian airline allows 6 passengers to stand

by Alister POOLE on October 1, 2010

A Russian airline that ran out of seats recently allowed six passengers to stand for the entire duration of the flight home.

In direct violation of European aviation standards, Tatarstan Airlines, last week, on a flight from Antalya, Turkey to Ekaterinburg, Russia allowed six passengers to fly without their own oxygen masks, life vests or seat belts. According to the events, the Boeing 737 that was supposed to make the trip had to be replaced with a smaller aircraft that only had 142 seats. With the larger plane – which can accommodate 148 passengers – out of commission, six passengers were given the opportunity to stand for the flight or wait seven hours for the next one.

All six passengers chose to stand for the five-hour flight home, but are now seeking $4,700 in compensation. The tour company had originally offered each passenger $200.

The idea of offering standing tickets to passengers has already been tossed around by Irish budget airline Ryanair, but so far no government has agreed to back the scheme. When Ryanair proposed the outlandish idea last year, European regulators quickly vetoed the notion citing safety issues.

Within the US, the Federal Aviation Administration requires that every passenger remain buckled into a seat during takeoff and until the aircraft has reached a safe cruising altitude.

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