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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The price for a bit of extra safety?

Having recently traveled, and noting that for some reason, this blog is one of my more popular ones, I decided to regurgitate it.
And this is something you may have noticed yourself. The airline we're booked on offers a pre-booking of our seats, to, as they put it, save time.
(Like that's going to get the plane off the ground any sooner. We all know you're only saving the time to wait in the lounge and watch someone in front of you text his life away)
But, I can always look at what is offered.
It turns out that if we want to choose our seats, we will be charged anywhere from $15 to $25, depending on where you want to sit. It seems that right by the emergency exit is the most expensive. (I'd think seats near the toilet would be more desirable, but that's my menopause coming out)
Now, you may argue that it's the leg room they're really offering, but I want to counter that. Not every plane has that extra leg room by the emergency exit.
I say it's because of the perceived notion that you'll be safer near the exit, and be able to get out sooner should the plane crash. Except....
as a friend of mine pointed out, you'll also be trampled to death by others, if you in any way hesitate.
I told my husband, who, like I said before, likes inexpensive vacations, said to me, 'Forget it. I don't care where I sit.'
But it got me thinking. Are the airlines are cashing in on people's paranoia. People want that extra bit of peace of mind, and sitting by an emergency exit may provide that for them. 
And while I know the airlines try their best to put you with your traveling companions, it doesn't always happen.
Are they sometimes separating you so as to encourage you to rebook your seats, and thus pay that extra fee? Me? I don't buy that notion that you need to pay extra to sit by your loved one. Where the heck is your loved one going whilst flying in a plane? And frankly, having raised two kids, I would only be too happy to put my little darlings next to some stranger, especially if that person refuses my request to change seats.
Sure, mister, sit by my kid. Like his mother, he snores when he falls asleep, which is at the drop of a hat. Oh, and by the way, he may drool a little at the same time. Like his mother.
But what burns me is the fact that airlines, who already charge for anything more than a cup of tea, are just trying to get more money out of us. They're basically saying, 'You want to think you'll be safer by that emergency exit? You'll have to pay for it.'
What's next? 'Oh, ma'am, you want a life jacket? That'll be an extra $50. The ones that come with the plane only inflate halfway.'
Oh, yeah, Airline?  I watched the safety video. I can inflate my own, thank you very much.

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