Coach-minus: a new low in high-flying travel

An unnamed airline is said to be planning a "coach-minus" service that features smaller, more crowded seats. They say they're providing cheaper tickets to passengers who demand it.

But of course, the shittier the "basic" airline seat is, the more all the stuff we used to get for free is worth — the right to fly with bags, to recline, to drink water, and so on. The neoliberal economic justification for this is that they're just unbundling the service so that each customer can buy precisely what she wants and no more. The reality — demonstrated by the airlines boasts of windfall profits generated from "extras" fees — is that unbundling is used to extract fortunes where none were paid before. That is, we're getting soaked in the air.

The idea of a new "Economy Minus" seat surfaced last month when the news site Runway Girl Network reported that a major carrier was considering adopting a seat with a pitch of 30 inches or less. Pitch is the distance between the back of your seat and the back of the seat in front of you. The site reported that the tip came from an airline representative who asked that the airline not to be named.

Would you book a smaller, "Economy Minus" seat to save money?
[Hugo Martin/LA Times]

(via Kottke)

(Image: Dunkle Geschichten aus Oesterreich [Public Domain]