06 OCT 2010: Russia's Tatarstan Airlines has perhaps scored a first in modern air travel. A Boeing 737 with a capacity of 142 passengers carried 148. The six extra passengers stood - until turbulence forced them to sit – in the aisle.

According to local media reports, when the regular flight from Antalya to Ekaterinburg was overbooked, the tour company who had booked the group, offered the passengers a choice of waiting seven hours for another flight, or else, astoundingly, the option to stand for the five hour flight back to Russia.

Amazingly, all chose to stand.

According to ABC news, the tour company offered about $200 in compensation, the passengers are now looking for about $4,500 more.

The manager of the tour company responsible for booking passengers onto the overbooked flight, said passengers had the option, "to fly on that plane standing up [without a seat], or wait seven hours for another plane. All the tourists decided to fly back despite uncomfortable conditions.”

Uncomfortable? What about unsafe?

It is mind boggling that in this day and age, an airline – any airline – would allow passengers to stand in the aisles for a flight. That means no seat belts, and no oxygen should the aircraft have had a problem.

'We cannot deny this happened to our customers," a Tatarstan Airlines airline official said rather unnecessarily, but also noted the company would not share any details until their investigation is over.

Hey, who needs stand up seats – just pack ‘em in the aisles.

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Jen Savedra

Jen Savedra is the founder and editor in chief of Travel Industry Today with  a long career and considerable experience in various sectors of travel and tourism. She is dedicated to producing a publication that differentiates itself from the pack. One that pulls no punches, and - along with being a forum for news and ideas - is easy to navigate and always fun to read.

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