I am traveling this summer and I want to propose something to my favorite airline. I want to propose that you stop treating me like cattle and do something to make traveling less of a pain in the neck than it already is.
It’s bad enough that 18 years after 9/11, and 15 years after OBL was killed and laid to permanent rest, people are asked to give up their civil rights in order even to get to the plane, where we hope to be on time and on our way, but it were for the fact that the real nightmare begins right as we board your aircraft.
First, it makes no sense to board from the front of the plane. The people who are fortunate enough to get that wonderfully spacious seating in the back of the plane should get on first and make it more effective and less time-consuming as the plane loads up. Moving from the back to the front makes sense logically. The only reason we all board after first class, premium, gold, platinum and select passengers is because they want to sit down first and they pay more to do so – at the expense of the rest of us suckers who sit in coach. But even for them, the first class snobs, loading from the rear would save them time, unless of course they like looking at the crotch of every person that gets on the plane while they are sipping champagne.
Second, how about reducing the load from 250 seats to a 150 seats. That’s right, put a little more space between me and the next person by reducing the rows of seats and an additional foot of feet space to boot! In no other circumstance in my life do I recall being forced to sit like I am in a box with less than 6 inches between my head and the seat of the person sitting in front of me. The person next to me, if they should happen to weigh more than 75 pounds, must calibrate breathing with me so that we are never exhaling at the same time, that’s how close we are. No one should ever have to sit that close to my ears, especially if they are under the age of two.
It is criminal and sadistic to force so many people into cramped quarters while you are moving them at a speed of 500 miles per hour. A better approach would be to simply put us all to sleep while we are gaining altitude and awake us when we arrive, a sort of hibernation, so that we don’t have to deal with the torture that is sitting on an airplane in the modern day. I sense that people at Gitmo might have it better off than me on an airline where I just doled out 800-bucks so I can fold myself up like a cheap suitcase for six hours..
A lighter load of fewer passengers would also increase value and increase airline traffic, less people traveling faster increases load and at the same time, makes for less tension among the travelers, also less delays because the length of time to load and unload is vastly reduced.
Fuel looks to be cheap moving forward, thanks to plentiful supplies and more efficient engines. The whole industry would benefit by putting more planes in the air with less passengers – but charging them slightly more. I know I would pay for it. Th experience would be better for both passenger and crew.
The planes are so full now, it seems the only thing to do is increase the number of flights. It’s a win-win. More leg room, more passengers flying more often.
I know it works because I grew up on the LA bus system, and more buses kept Wilshire Boulevard humming.More movement equals more passengers who are traveling, and there are certainly no shortage pf travelers as traveling has become quite common place. When was the last time you sat on a half empty plane (unless it was a small commuter plane flying to remote rural area)?
But for humanitarian reasons alone, even if you don’t decrease passenger space side to side, can I at least have the ability to reach down and pick up that wafer cookie I just dropped without having to endure a head injury in the process? Is that too much to ask?
Thank you. Have a nice day.
Jim Watkins is an author, and host of the wildly superfluous Candidly Speaking podcast