Presently, the cheapest ticket in existence for a Atlanta to San Francisco trip....is with Frontier Airlines, for around $190 (more or less). It's a five-hour trip (no stops).
Let's say that someone came up and offered you this deal....round-trip for the same package....for $79. But then they say....there is no real seat in involved....there is a standing or leaning contraption that you would lean into and buckle up, and then just kinda stand around for the whole five hours. Instead of 290 passengers on the plane....you'd have around 450 passengers.
Would you buy the ticket?
There's been this discussion in Japan for several years of these island to island flights (usually less than two hours) and having only lean-seats in place....dropping the prices dramatically.
My guess....out of a hundred people being asked....ninety-five would say 'no'.....they couldn't accept a five-hour flight of just standing the whole way....even for $79.
But if you turned around and said an Atlanta to Dallas flight (round-trip) for $49....taking 135 minutes? Well....then you'd start to notice fifty percent of people asking questions and maybe taking a deal like this. The normal Atlanta to Dallas big deal? Usually $140 to $160.
The chief destination where I think the cheap standing situation would work....is Vegas. You can draw a fairly big circle around the mid-west and west-coast....within two hours of Vegas, and I think that you could have a dozen flights a day flying into Vegas with the 'standers'.
Odds of this ever occurring? Some idiot will eventually put up the money and create some four to six plane fleet....and offer a dozen flights per day for 'standers'. The news media will laugh, and the FAA will question the wisdom of this. But I suspect that we are reaching a stage where it might not be such a radical idea.