• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Don’t Recline your Airline Seats

OK, I think I have had enough. I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal with the headline “Airline Seat Battles: Be Kind, Don’t Recline?” It was about the minuscule space afforded airline passengers in economy cabin seats and how we should not recline our airline seats.

Airline seats are hard and uncomfortable
If you want comfort it is your responsibility

I fly constantly and because of that, I sometimes get upgraded to First Class where a snack box comes with every rock-hard seat and free alcoholic drinks are offered to the business teetotalers because of impending meetings. Still, I spend more time than the average flyer in economy and economy plus.

It really makes me mad that the responsibility for the comfort of the person behind me now resides with me. Don’t get me wrong, it almost makes me sick when the person in front of me reclines their seat and, not only is there not enough room to work on my computer but I get a bird’s eye view of my fellow passenger’s scalp diseases. Why is this my responsibility? Why don’t air passengers hold the airlines responsible for the basics of comfort?

It has gotten to the point where I travel with a memory foam cushion for my butt and a back support cushion for the small of my back. This is simply to ensure that I can get off the plane without limping up the jet way.

The airlines, last I looked, are making money again. The flights I seem to fly, while rarely on time, a full to capacity with a dozen or so stand-by passengers waiting in line for the claustrophobic privilege of smelling one another’s scalps.

I guess we get what we deserve and I guess we deserve nothing. In the meantime, let’s “Keep Climbing” with DELTA or “Flying the Friendly (albeit cramped and uncomfortable) Skies” with United. Maybe the “New American” Airlines will treat passengers better? Oh wait a minute, now I remember; the merger of US Airways and American Airlines was for the airline’s benefit and not the flying public’s. My bad.

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