Her arm is touching your arm. His tuna sandwich breath is just too close. Such are the annoyances facing travelers who get stuck with the middle seat on airplanes. Frontier Airlines is willing to throw those passengers a bone, and will be adding an extra bit of room to the middle seat as part of a new seating overhaul on some of its planes.
Airlines and aircraft manufactures are continuously looking for new ways to pack passengers into planes like sardines. From installing narrower seats to exploring the idea of bicycle-like perches , there appears to be no end to what might be considered to maximize capacity on flights. The latest concept: a seating design that takes the already awful experience of being stuck in the middle seat and makes it worse… so much worse. [More]
It’s understandable when airlines force passengers to buy two seats if they can’t fit in a single one. It’s less understandable when the airline puts those two seats in different rows. That just means extra embarrassment for the passenger when front-line employees don’t understand the company’s own policies. Yet this is what a man from Wales claims happened to him during a flight to Ireland. [More]
Silly Mike. He thought that by booking seats in the bulkhead row next to each other on well ahead of time for his flights to and from Tokyo on United later this week, he would actually get to sit in those seats. Instead, he writes, United’s customer service changed the plane type for their flight long after he reserved his tickets. Yet the airline somehow managed to not re-book seats for Mike and his wife at all. When he called to straighten things out, the airline put them on a different flight not sitting together and took away their precious bulkhead seats. United’s representatives don’t see why Mike has a problem with any of this.
Although we’ve discussed it here plenty of times, the recent twitstorm caused by Kevin Smith after he was booted from a Southwest flight has brought more mainstream coverage to the issue of airline seating. Slate asked its readers for input, and today it published the most consistent arguments, like it’s not just a problem for overweight people, and we might have to buy our way out of it.
Snagging the best plane seat doesn’t always require an upgrade, thanks to a few handy tips from Condé Nast Traveler. Inside, how to avoid the dreaded middle seat and keep yourself entertained on the flight…
Eric and his girlfriend are trying to acquire a beanbag chair from sumolounge.com, but there have been some hiccups. Eric is a former retail manager, so he’s actually pretty understanding about how things can go wrong with fulfillment. Now that Mindy is just flat out ignoring him, however, he may have lost his patience. Update: The founder of sumolounge.com has responded in the comments below.
If you’re looking for the most legroom, look to the low fare carriers because the big airlines are cramming more and more seats into coach, says the WSJ.
It sounds like someone at Ronald Reagan National Airport decided to solve an overbooking problem by cheating Frankie’s girlfriend out of her flight, and then someone else there decided to blame her for it. Despite arriving at the airport before 7pm for a 7:35pm flight, they insisted to her that she’d missed the 30-minute cutoff and lost her seat.
Midwest Airlines loyalists, prepare to be upset, the airline is adding 11 seats to its formerly roomy coach section. In addition to converting good seats to less good ones, they’re adding a charge for the remaining quality seats.
Chinatown busses, often the cheapest way to travel between Washington, New York, and Boston, are starting to outclass their established rivals by offering free WiFi service. One new entrant, Vamoose Bus, is even offering guaranteed seating – which can’t be found on Greyhound or any other Chinatown bus.
Starting November, Southwest will change its completely “grab any seat” policy. Instead, you will get assigned a letter and number. When your letter is called, everyone in that group lines up in order by number, boards, then grabs any seat they feel like. In case this is difficult to understand, Southwest has an interactive minisite set up to explain the process.
Southwest Airlines has been thinking about changing its open seating policy for assigned seating. This isn’t about convenience or altruism: rather, it’s about trying to cram as many people into a plane as quickly as possible, reducing the turn-around time between when a flight lands to when it takes off again.
If you’re a Southwest Airlines flier and want the best seats, an entire cottage industry has sprung up. You enter your Southwest Airlines account and password into sites like boardfirst.com, apassonly.com or alineonline.com will automatically check you in online the second Southwest Airlines starts accepting seat reservations. It costs about $5 bucks per use… an excellent deal if you really want to get that extra leg room near the emergency exit door.