03 September 2006

Air World

I hate flying. This wasn't always true, however. Thirty years ago, the airlines weren't going out of their way to insult "economy" travelers. You could get a meal then. Sure it wasn't very good, but still--it was a meal, not just a (small) bag of peanuts. You got a decent amount of room around your seat, not the stingy, impossibly crowded space imposed on air travelers today. You know what I'm talking about: The guy in front of you leans back, jamming your tray table into your rib cage. Your elbows spread out slightly while you're reading and they encroach on your rowmate's space. The carry-on bag you're permitted to bring onboard doesn't really fit under the seat in front of you and leave you room for your feet. I could go on (and may, later).

Why not upgrade, you ask. Well, consider this: A roundtrip economy-class ticket on British Air between Seattle and London costs about $1,000. The "business-class" seat for the same RT ticket costs about $8,000. I don't know about you, but the $7,000 difference is HUGE for me. So, what's a nonwealthy traveler to do? Seriously, what is such a traveler to do?