We, the Brits, are reputed to like our personal space.
So when another passenger is close enough that I can smell airline lounge beer on their breath and am privy to their lack of deodorant -- as well as tolerating the elbow-in-ribs for the second time in an hour -- I endure with that stereotypical stiff upper lip and dream once more of freedom from the metal tube.
Given the option, would you buy half of the seat next to you to avoid such traveling pitfalls? It may not be the showers, bar and massaging seats of, but it could make your trip far more pleasant.
This is the same notion that Michael Batt, the founder and co-chairman of Travel Leaders Group -- a Minnesota-based corporate travel agency -- advocates. Not only could passengers benefit, but for airlines that let passengers choose their seats, they could hawk the more difficult-to-sell middle seats to two punters instead of trying to entice just one.
During the Global Business Travel Association conference in San Diego, Batt said the idea made sense. Airlines may be bypassing an additional revenue stream by failing to consider the notion, let alone the fuel that could be saved by having fewer passengers on a flight.
Fewer passengers, however, means less money if you're touting duty-free or drinks on the flight, and logistically, an airline could run into problems if only one-half of a row on a packed flight is willing to pay for a bit of extra space. It's a long shot, but when some airlines are selling scratchcards to squeeze extra cash out of fliers, who knows how far this idea could be taken.
Much to my personal disappointment, the idea is unlikely to result in a new ticket option for my next trip abroad -- but in the future, it could be the first time I would happily part with money on the 'extras' page.
Image credit: Flickr
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com