I have still, as of this date, never purchased Delta BASIC E fare economy tickets. I have just not had to fly a short enough fight or flights where I did not care where I sat or to miss out on the chance for an upgrade. I guess for a few bucks it is well worth it to me to enjoy my current elite perks and down the road, when I am no longer Diamond, my
lifetime annual Silver Medallion status that lets me pick an exit row at booking (and a small shot at a 1st class upgrade). Heck, before I retire, I may even push my way to 2 million miles to have lifetime annual Gold Medallion status that includes (for now) Skyteam Elite+ status as well.
But, after learning yesterdays up-sell news, will there ever be a limit as to just what the airline will do when it comes to segmenting an airline cabin? Now I know my example above is going to the extreme. But at the same time, if I were running an airline, I would totally consider installing these type of seats in the section behind Comfort Plus seats. Why? I would be more than happy to pay a bit more to NOT have the row in front of me recline at all and yet have my row fully recline (sorta like an exit row now).
Sure, the idea of no window in the Main Cabin Minus seats is not realistic but my point is the airline could and can continue to make some of the coach experience worse and worse day by day if it wants to. It is a simple step to do and the never ending argument that it is the customer’s fault if they are stuck in a nasty, non-reclining, no frills seat for not paying a few bucks more for say Main Cabin Plus with full recline and a window! 😉
Just look at what American Airlines is doing with their latest modifications – that is, adding even more seats to coach and reducing space. I have flown in the “way back” on AA on one of their new jets just once and will never, EVER, do it again. I cannot dream how much worse they really can make it “back there”!
My point is, at some point, enough is enough! The only possible restraint the airlines seem to have is to be able to point to the fact that in an emergency they can still, in the government mandated amount of time, get folks out of the jet. In other words, the seats have to only provide a life and death amount of space. Is that enough?
I think it is time more than just emergency situations should be considered. After all, with too little space (or like in my illustration above) more than just comfort can come into play. Cram someone into one of those types of seats for too long and it could lead to medical issues and harm the flyer. That is why, at some point and that point is now, the governments of the world should set a limit of how much leg room must exist between seats and a minimum seat width as well (taking the size of the fuselage into account clearly). I see this as the only way to put an end to endless cabin segmentation and the airlines creating an experience so bad that it has real negative impacts on the traveler.
What do you think. Would an airline ever consider the seats I have illustrated above? Will they ever stop making the experience worse and worse? Would you favor laws to prevent them from adding Main Comfort Plus (and Minus) seats? Let me know in the comments below! – Rene