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Flying, Crying and Business Travel

By Denny Stein

It seems that corporations are spending again, on air travel. I have mixed feelings about that. According to the NY Times Travel section on May 5, airlines are ecstatically ramping up their Business Class services with lay-flat seats, airport lounge refurbs, better food and wine, and plenty of hand-holding to get the business passengers from here to there. At the same time, prices are NOT dropping, the cost of fuel is rising, planes are full, i.e. crowded, and the rest of us donít have a chance of being upgraded.

IMHO, thereís something undemocratic about balkanizing air travel - herding all of us into different class rooms. After all, itís the same risk once youíre 36,000 miles high. Iím not afraid of flying, but I hate being crowded and even just a teensy bit more room in an airplane makes me feel safer. Jet Blue does a pretty good job of humane seat pitch (the space between you and the next person in front). Virgin America at least tries to distract you with ďmoodĒ lighting, entertainment, and individualized food service. But the been there done that airlines, like United, American and Delta donít seem to give a flying frittata if their customers are happy or not. How do you feel about it?

Sidney Riding Business Class

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