The Suitcase Lady


November 20, 2012, 9:30 pm

My sympathy to all of you who will be taking a domestic flight to be with your family and Thanksgiving feast. Have fortitude, a terrific book and a brown bag lunch.

On our last trip, the flight attendant started out by announcing,”you can get an extra five inches of legroom for only $20.00.”  No one on the plane booed, laughed or took the guy up on his offer.

In case you haven’t flown lately, air travel is the last frontier of marketing to a captive audience. It is also a case study on how not to give customer service.

My husband has often joked that it’s a good thing I didn’t pursue a career in marketing as my creative energies would be used for diabolical purposes. That flight attendant spurred me to dreaming up all the revenue possibilities the airlines have missed, a nice mental exercise as I was crammed into my steerage section seat for four hours.

Consider that armrest between you and your fellow passenger. For only $2.50 it will come down to assure your minuscule space cannot be encroached. Want to read a book on your long flight? $3.00 will turn on the overhead light. The space under the seat in front of you is all yours for a mere $10.00. For $1.00 per cubic inch you can rent a handy overhead bin.

While congregating near a lavatory is strictly forbidden, you may have the misfortune of having to use one. Bring your credit card with you and it will open the locked door for a fee of $7.47. Soap, paper towels and toilet paper will be available from the handy vending machine inside.

Breaking news! If your weight meets the airline standards and you fork over $200.00, you qualify for a seat in the new skinny section.

Be forewarned…your airline purchases cannot be bought with cash. Need coins for the bathroom vending machines? Don’t even dream of asking your flight attendant for change. None of them will touch the filthy stuff: these airline folks don’t know the meaning of the words “legal tender”. You can easily die of thirst or hunger if you don’t have a credit card.

This blog comes with a warning: Do not forward to anyone even remotely connected to the airline industry.

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