O'Hare Airport, Chicago IL - Executives from all major US airlines emerged from a closed door meeting, having agreed on a plan to cease mergers and increase their passenger carrying capacity.
The major US airlines will reconfigure their existing jet aircraft fleet's seating configurations. This action has become necessary due to the increased cost of jet fuel, which has almost doubled in the last several weeks.
All coach seats and the associated overhead storage bins will be removed from the aircraft. (First class remains intact.) Two vertical standing positions replace each removed seat to double the aircraft's passenger capacity. Each position includes a vertical pole (like in subways or strip clubs), associated arm supports, safety harnesses/belts and a stereo headphone jack. Additionally the coach lavatories will be removed, adding additional passenger capacity, dependent on the jet aircraft type.
A number of issues still need to be resolved before the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gives their final approval to the plan. These issues include, passenger sanitary plumbing (made easier by the airlines lack of a decent food service), passenger privacy, traveling children, and long flights.
Airline stock prices rose slightly on the stock exchanges, this rise being attributed to current ticket prices remaining stable (no added fuel surcharges) and future airline profitability increasing when jet fuel prices drop. An airline industry analyst said "that for years people traveling in coach have been complaining that they felt as if they were on a cattle truck, now this may become a reality."