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Fear of Flying
Shuddering thought of being in a jet’s coach seat for 10 hours
Cattle cars, you know, are designed to cram as many head of cattle into them as possible.
Today we find that airlines are taking that idea and trying to improve on it. And instead of only getting in as many people as they can, the airlines also try to get as much money out of every flight that they can.
In the process, it’s sure making airplane travel no fun, at least for those of us who fly in coach. You’re interested about going to your destination, but dreading the time while flying.
Returning home from overseas recently, the airplane was loaded in a manner so that those in Coach class had first to walk through the business class seats. Now we didn’t get to see the First Class seats, but wow-oh-wow, it’s hard to see what they could offer in First Class that wasn’t already first class service for the Business Class.
The Business Class seats were configured on a 1-2-1 design across the airplane. That gave each rider an extra wide seat, with wide table to the left or right, and then about twice as much room front-to-back. In reality, there was enough room to stretch out, so that a person in business class could sleep, like in a bed. The area also all sorts of other gadgets to play with, plus getting (we hear) far better food during the flight.
Now take that same width across the plane, and we in Coach were in a 2-3-2 arrangement. So there sat seven people across in Coach, compared to four across in Business Class. You can imagine. Not only that, but the front-to-back depth of that seat wasn’t as deep, and when you sat down, it seemed like your knees were knocking against the seat in front of you, and your eyeballs were mighty close to the back of that seat. It was about the only time in my life I was wishing that I was the height of my mother (five feet) instead of my father (six feet). Boy, was it cramping!
And then I realized I would have to sit in that crowded manner for about 10 hours! Yep, we got up often to walk around.
Coming back from Europe flying westward, we know, takes longer. At one time the instrumentation showed we were bucking 110 miles per hour winds. Going over, of course, you have tailwinds, and it makes much shorter a trip.
Going eastward, we also usually leave at night, which means you are tired at the end of the day, and eventually get a little sleep on the plane. But coming back, most all the flights leave in the morning, arriving mid-afternoon, and on the plane, you are fresher and can’t sleep so easily.
Bucking the winds, plus in daylight, makes the trip seem much longer. And you’re cramped in there. Sends shudders just thinking about it.
So the question: what would it take, in dollars, to fly business class? We checked online, and found a trip for $960 (to London). Taking those same dates, the business trip cost would be $3,800. (First class, we found, would cost $10,000).
Realize that the difference in coach and business class is about $2,800, which amount
- Editor's note: This story originally published at GwinnettForum.com.
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