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Flying the Cramped Skies

27 Oct 2003

I’m a very tall person, and I travel a lot. At 6’6” (or just about 2 meters even, for the rest of the world), I find coach seating in most airlines not just uncomfortable, but abusive. Nearly every carrier has chosen a seat pitch to be at least 2 to 3 inches shorter than my femur. And that means sitting sideways for the entire flight, knees in the aisle getting battered by the beverage cart.

Although I’m at the upper end of the height bell curve, I’m apparently not alone. A man named Ira Goldman has just created a $10 wedge of plastic that you can use to prevent the seat in front of you from reclining. Me, I just jump up out of my seat moaning and rubbing my shins.

The bigger issue, of course, is the beleaguered airline industry’s attempt to skim a profit as the the low-fare carriers zip right around them. Case in point: on a cross-country flight this weekend, I was given a cardboard box containing a hamburger bun with a slice of turkey and slice of yellow cheese. My “meal” also included a bag of chips and a Twix bar. I ate better in 4th grade out of my CHiPs lunch box. The luxury of air travels has become nothing more than airborne bus service.

Update: Anil laments the substandard level of service he’s been experiencing, as well. ​


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