Posted April 30, 2013 10:14 pm

My kingdom for a seat on Alaska Airlines

First you take away my peanuts, and now this?
New “slimmer” seats with plug-ins and USB ports and extraterrestrial sensors and insulin portals and, well, OK, you mentioned electrical outlets and ports.
You actually said 110-volt power and USB outlets.
And then, under your breath, “this allows Alaska Airlines to make available more passenger seats.”
Is that “Squeeze more bodies side by side to help fight intolerance among cultures, species and social upbringings?” Or just squeeze more bodies side by side to honor the holy dollar.
Does any employee of Alaska Airlines fly outside first class?
Where are these extra seats (six to nine the airlines announced, two or three more rows) going?
OMG! Please say you are not going to change the restrooms. Those are the only seats I can PASS my time comfortably while on a flight.
Used to be able to do that in the rows that are handicap-accessible, and all I had to know was how to open the door. That was my duty.
Then the secret of those got out and you can’t buy an advanced seat there unless it is three months prior, with a background and credit check, and on solar flare dates in the Year of the Disney Plane.
Now, my shoulders are by no means those of an NFL linebacker, nor an amateur cave spelunker, nor an avid sales shopper at Black Friday.
Seriously, if I am in the middle seat and seat A or C (or D and F) scratch their head, toe or in between… guess what? So do I!!!!
There is already no room!
I can feel the tummy rumbling from the traveler in front of me and the last gasps of the tourist behind me.
Note that lovely food and beverage cart coming down the aisle. The cart that you so graciously say took away my free peanuts to allow me the choice of an alternative meal which, by the way, I can no longer purchase with cash.
Well, that cart already smashes and dents shoes, limbs and the eyes of anyone who dares to peek around the imaginary line that separates aisle from passenger.
Have you seen the chain reaction when a cart strikes a passenger? First the aisle seat lurches, then the middle and the poor guy at the coveted window seat leaves a nose imprint onto the, um, is that Plexiglas?
Maybe one new seat will go in the sink of the lavatory.
I could fly there.
I could accept the duties… “Do you understand and acknowledge that you can, with eyes closed, hand out three, and only three, squares of toilet paper to those who occupy the jet-powered vacuum flushing metal cistern on your right?”
I do. I can. I will.
Come on, Alaska Airlines.
We have all been there.
We board early. We have to board early now. Have to get searched by 25 TSA agents who have placed the Scandinavian name STOLPE on the list of eyebrow-raising flight passengers.
We have to drag our laptops out because God knows, or Allah suspects, or Buddha philosophizes, that inside a bag they look like a laptop to an X-ray machine.
We have to take off our shoes, except if you’re an infant because who would hide something inside a infant’s shoe?
We take off our belts, our jackets and we stick our left foot in and shake it all about, we do the hokey pokey and you pat us down.
And that is the pleasant part of flying on Alaska Airlines now.
Because next is going to that seat.
And we pass the first class seats. They stare down or out the breakfast nook sized windows or through their Pulitzer Prize-winning provided literature. They avert their eyes from us common folks walking to our chambers.
(insert the Wizard of Oz march chant here… OHEEEOH, OHHHHoooH, OHEEEOhh OH).
And we sit there. The first to our row.
We tried to store and stash what we could, we tried to force the square-pegged backpack into the round-holed overhead bin as those behind us in first class sigh because the line has backed up and blocked their view of the 45-inch plasma name tag on the flight attendant who never walks past row three.
Now the lottery begins.
Who will sit next to me?
Please, oh please, oh please by bulimic.
Nope, healthy. Damn you!
Okay, one seat left.
They say roughly 34 percent of adult Americans are overweight and 36 percent are obese. There are three seats in my row. I am in one and I am average in shape, try to stay in shape, try to fit into my seat. Mr. Healthy took seat two and I am in better shape than he is.
Law of averages means that this last seat is going to an unhealthy American.
So much for having your own personal space.
So I am really not sure where these new sleeker seats will go, because everyone wants that top-of-the-line cosmopolitan feel in flight with electric razor plug-in.
I bet if carry-on bags were eliminated than prone seats could be put overhead.
In-law seats could be stationed on the wings.
And fans of the Twilight series could be strapped to the ceilings.
Just don’t tell me this new seat is because we passengers have requested all the new technical gadgetry plug-ins and will be for our comfort. Every one I fly with says the same thing… “Get your hand off my leg!” Or something to that effect.
And, Alaska Airlines, one more thing…
Quit handing me the can of Diet Coke when all I ask for is a glass!
That only causes me to proceed to the lavatory… and that seat is always taken now!
Thanks a lot, Alaska Airlines. At least I will be able to plug-in my taser. Wait! Can I say taser? Oh crap, my name is really on the list now.
AKAir, I wash my hands of you!
And, in Latin, that is where “Lavare” began.
Et tu?


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