Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Irritating Little Snurds on Airplanes

Here’s a brilliant idea with which the airlines can make more money.

First, let me backtrack.

For a long time, I’ve always liked to obtain the seats in the emergency row when flying. I’m almost 6’3” and those extra few inches of leg room really made a big difference on a long flight.

For a long time, obtaining the emergency row seats was an easy thing to do. Back before the days of online reservations, I’d simply ask for one when I’d check in. Then when I’d make reservations online, I’d just click on one of those seats. They were always available.

And, yes, if the plane plummeted down in a firey crash, I would happily set my Diet Coke down and take the responsibility of opening the emergency door. I've read the safety pamphlet.

Now, almost all the airlines charge a lot of money for one of those seats. On a recent flight to Seattle, they wanted $90 extra for that seat. Seeing as it was a four hour flight, I almost paid for it.

So, I no longer get those nice seats and here’s what invariably happens – I’m sitting there all scwunched up in my seat and some five-foot-two-inch snurd reading his Wall Street Journal in front of me plops his seat back as far as it will go, thus impaling my knees into my chest.

It’s at that point that I want to smack him in the back of the head, which, by now is two inches from my nose.

I’m a nice passenger. I really am. Before I ease my seat back a tiny bit, I always check behind me. If there's a big person behind me, I don’t put it back at all.

See where I’m going with this?

Why don’t the airlines implement a “seat reclining fee”? In order to activate the seat reclining button, you’d have to swipe a credit card and pay fifty bucks to do so.

Or better yet, charge more the farther back you want to put your seat.

I think I’m on to something here.

I’d better watch it though. I know the aisle seats have a little more leg room than the middle ones. Soon the airlines will be charging more for those.


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