Flying  Economy has become an abomination, especially if you’re over 6 feet tall and well past 250 lbs. And I do get that that’s not the airlines’ fault…no one is stuffing my face but myself. On the other hand, it wasn’t much better 50 pounds ago either….I still routinely had the guy’s seat in front of me in my lap if he reclined. But at least there was some service and a smile from the flight attendant…or at least they made a gratuitous effort.

There are many jokes and cartoons about the situation and I won’t add to that already overflowing repertoire. But an interesting recent exchange with a flight attendant does add a rather pathetic note to the whole story.

I recently flew Business Class on AC (on points). I had one of those great new “pods” where you can really stretch out and relax. The flight attendant and I got into a conversation about the pods, comfort, and how little room there is in Economy Class these days (especially for a guy like me!). She lowered her voice conspiratorially and whispered, with a smile, “Do you know what we call them [Economy passengers]?”. “What?”, I asked, in an equally low voice. “Cargo!” she said. She went on to explain that in the old days the Economy passengers paid for the flight, and Business Class was the gravy. Today, it’s the reverse. They don’t give a damn whether or not Economy passengers are happy.

So next time you’re flying, envision yourself as a box or tightly shrink-wrapped package. Cargo doesn’t need drinks or peanuts.

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