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Legs-up aid won’t take Qantas ban lying down

July 7, 2017 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

An Australian family business that makes little hammocks to support passengers’ legs in economy class is hoping to overturn a decision by Qantas banning their use, the firm said yesterday.

The product’s name is Fly LegsUp. Fly LegsUp is standing up to Qantas and Jetstar – and it won’t take the ban lying down.

A Fly LegsUp customer initially alerted the Gold Coast-based business to a Qantas decision to prohibit the use of the company’s flight hammocks, shortly before news broke.

Sure enough, under the heading “Prohibited inflight items” Qantas now bans inflight travel accessories and devices which:

  • attach to aircraft seats;
  • are inserted between seats; or
  • otherwise block access to seat rows or aisles.

“When in use,” the airline says, “these devices have the potential to impede access to seats and aisles, damage aircraft seats and fixtures, and block access to emergency equipment.”

Qantas continues: “Examples of prohibited inflight accessories include, but are not limited to, inflatable cubes, ‘bed boxes’, and ‘leg hammocks’. This list is not exhaustive, and the decision to permit use of a particular device rests with the cabin crew onboard.”

Fly LegsUp inventor and director Jenny Cayzer said her company had invested years in researching and developing its “comprehensively tested in-flight comfort aid” to ensure the products met the safety requirements of all airlines without impacting the aircraft seat or other passengers.

Fly LegsUp in action. From the company’s website

“Personal belongings including bags, children’s toys, pillows, and blankets often occupy the same space  and would therefore also constitute a similar obstruction as the hammock does,” Cayzer argues.

“Our independent Aviation Engineering Report, publicly available on our website, refutes the claims made by Qantas and Jetstar regarding the safety of our flight hammocks.

“The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) classed our hammock as a carry-on comfort aid that did not constitute an obstruction if used during cruise flight only and not during take-off and landing.”

Cayzer said the Fly LegsUp hammock can be removed in just five seconds with the small inflatable pillows also able to be quickly deflated.

“Tests undertaken by a CASA authorised Aviation Engineer also eliminated any concerns of aircraft seats and fixtures being damaged,” she said.

In regards to other passengers, Fly LegsUp says it has testimonials from customers who have said passengers sitting in front of them were unaware the hammock was in use.

Since the story broke, Fly LegsUp customers have been voicing their disappointment online at the airline’s decision, Cayzer said.

In a statement issued yesterday, Cayzer said Fly LegsUp provided a solution for passengers who wanted to feel more comfortable flying economy class on long-haul flights.

“Flying long distance in economy can be stressful for both children and adults and we genuinely believe our product can make a worthy contribution to comfort and increased health benefits.

“We are doing everything we can to respectfully request an opportunity to plead our case to both airlines to ensure the comfort of our customers is not compromised.

“With innovation comes uncertainty and we understand Qantas and Jetstar have concerns about our product, however, we can demonstrate that our product does not pose an issue when used during cruise flight only.”

In the 24-hours since the ban was made public, Fly LegsUp says it has reached out to both Qantas and Jetstar, sending emails and leaving phone messages “seeking the opportunity to have a constructive conversation”.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. John Alwyn-Jones says:

    Qantas is ultra conservative. The first questions include have other airlines banned them and do leg hammocks really cause an obstruction to passengers if an evacuation was needed?

    If they do and they might and it appears they do in QF’s opinion, then may I suggest that Ms Cayszer may have to come up with model that does not cause an obstruction, one that immediately the passenger’s legs are out of the hammock it collapses and provides clear access.

    Cearly the big square blow up devices I have seen do cause an obstruction but not sure if leg hammocks do not or if they do, could be adjusted or redesigned not do so.

    If Ms Cayszer is of the opinion they do not casue an obstruction, then she needs to come up with a reasoned and logical case why they should be allowed, becasue just complaining, phoning non specific people and sending emails will do nothing.

    She also needs to make sure she speaks to the the CEO of the QF Group Alan Joyce – best to start at the top and work down and if no luck there the Chairman Leigh Clifford at least the most seniro person that deals with aircraft operations for both airlines and demand a meeting!

    Go Ms Cayszer! Do not give up!

  2. AgentGerko says:

    I can understand the airline’s reluctance. Looking at the picture shown, it seems it would be very difficult for other passengers to clamber over, particularly if the user was sleeping, and it also seems that every time the user moved their feet it would jolt the seat in front that its attached to.

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