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Would You Buy A Half-Seat On A Plane?
This is the suggestion of Michael Batt, founder and chairman of Travel Leaders Group, which owns 6,000 travel agencies. He was speaking at this week's Global Business Travel Association meeting in San Diego.
The idea is that since middle seats are often left untaken, the aisle and window passengers could pay 50 percent of a full fare for the privilege of sharing it. This would generate income for the airlines without the expense of serving anybody or hauling any extra weight. Batt claims that passengers would love it.
So would I love buying a half-seat on a plane? Hell no, and here's why.
Also, it's unworkable. Are the airlines going to draw lines at the center point of their seats? They'll have to, otherwise the cabin crew will be dealing with all sorts of petty territorial fights between passengers shouting "He's taking up my side of the seat!" like children in the back of a car on a long, hot family road trip. I'm not going to fork over a bunch of money for an extra half-seat only to find someone's love handles oozing into it, or someone's darling little bawling baby suddenly taking up residence in my elbow room.
No. I'm paying for a trip, not a few inches of extra butt room. If I want luxury, I'll pay for business or first class. Otherwise the airlines should concentrate on getting me and my luggage where I'm going.