by Michael Seese
Today I am putting down my quill and getting up on my soapbox...
Have you heard about the latest fee that airlines are starting to impose? If you haven't, you soon will. To level set:
- I don't mind that they charge for food now.
- I wouldn't even mind if they charged for drinks (e.g., juice and soda), as long as we can still bring our own water on board.
- I don't mind that they charge for blankets, pillows, and the headsets to listen to the movies.
- I do think it's unfair to charge for the first checked bag; but I'm OK with a fee for any additional stowed luggage.
But according to Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press, airlines have started charging folks who request adjacent seats.
To be honest, I can understand the airlines' rationale. A lot of business travelers pay a a lot of money to book seats at the last minute. (Of course, they don't pay it; but that's another issue.) And the only seats left often are in the middle, which are less desirable than an aisle or window seat. So the airlines are holding those seats. As such, if you want to book two seats together, be prepared to pay extra.
I will state for the record, right here and right now, that this will blow up in their faces.
Personally, I refuse to pay this outrageous fee. And I won't. So here is what's going to happen on my next flight...
I'm going to lead my three-year-old son down to seat 26B. Sitting in 26A and 26C will be two nicely attired businessmen (or -women). I will say to them, "I'm sure glad you look like trustworthy folks, because I'd hate to leave my son with anyone. By the way, he gets really cranky if he loses his pacifier, and it tends to roll, so you'd better keep your eyes open. Oh, and he gets airsick, A LOT, so you probably want to be prepared. We're talking projectile vomiting. Good luck."
Of course, I have no intention of leaving my son with strangers. But that won't happen. What will happen is that one of them will volunteer to take my assigned seat, 16B. Two ends will result:
1. He will have to grab his bag from the overhead bin and swim upstream to aisle 16. Potentially, that could delay the plane's departure and therefore its arrival, which costs the airline in terms of reputation.
2. Then, he will complain to the airline because he paid extra for an aisle seat, and instead got stuck in the middle. And he'll ask for a refund.
End of problem.
What do you think? Will this fee remain, or will it go down like the Hindenburg? Please share your thoughts.