Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Indignity of Seat 31D

Dear Alaska Airlines,

I recently took a wonderful last-minute trip with my boys to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico during our Spring Break. Since I booked the trip two days before we departed, I was worried about being able to sit near my children. My husband, who sadly had to stay home and work, called and requested that since I was traveling alone with three children, we be seated together. When we checked in for our flight, sure enough we were sitting in 31A, B, C and D. The back of the airplane, but at least we were not spread all over.

Little was I to know the price I had to pay to sit near my children.

I wonder if anyone who works for Alaska Airlines has recently sat in 31D on a 737. You know, the last isle seat, right next to the bathroom? The very last seat to be offered something to drink, the seat where you can only purchase the snack left after serving every other person on the airplane? The last seat the flight attendants clear garbage from? The seat where you can overhear everything the flight attendants say to each other? (OK, that's not so bad, I learned where to eat in Puerto Vallarta).

By far the biggest indignity of seat 31D, however, was having either the butt or private parts of nearly every person on the plane in my face. The person waiting to use a bathroom stands in the aisle right next to seat 31D. Many of the passengers cannot comfortably fit and stand in the aisle and so turn sideways to accommodate. Seat 31D is presented with either a butt or the front side, right at face level. Then when the person comes out of the bathroom, they must squeeze around the person standing next to seat 31D, which pushes the private parts fully into the armrest and into the small personal space of the person sitting there. And that would be me. Both flights.

Now I know that space is at a premium on airplanes these days. I was glad to have a seat. But the flight was very unpleasant. A sympathetic word and perhaps a little extra service or a drink from the flight attendant would have been a nice touch.

Or would it be too much for the pilot to announce: "Folks, we have a very full flight today and there is someone forced to sit in seat 31D. Please do that person a favor and make sure your zipper is up before you leave the bathroom."


Jeanne said...

ACK! My eyes! That's a long flight, too. Awful, but...heeheehee!

The Big Boss said...

I received a reply from Alaska Airlines along with a $50 discount on my next flight. The letter was very professional and boring, so I'm not going to post it here.

Mr. L (aka Buddha) said...

that also was hilarious...I have found my new online comedy channel!