Airbus and Wide-Bodies

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

20 July 2018

Airlines and Wide-Bodies

Wide-Bodies. Airbus Wide-Body.

Wide-bodiesHooray for wide-bodies! I’m not a wide body but I am a frequent flyer. As it is, I’m not writing about the airline industry as such. And, I could not give a rat’s ass about aircraft orders. I would say they could all go to hell in a handbag, but I believe they are already there.

I know for certain that passengers are there. Because hell is the very definition of air travel.

Too many wide-bodies

I’m an American. But I travel the world for business. And I used to think the US cornered the market on wide-bodies. But not so much anymore. It’s too bad airlines don’t care about our own growing corpulence. No need to match it by airline seat room.

I have upgraded. Often.

But my upgrades are a result of many hours of torture. They are a red badges of courage. If you think I have it easy sitting in first class and sipping wine out of a plastic cup, you would be wrong.

I have paid dearly for that. You try flying 200,000 miles a year and see how it feels to be a preferred traveler.

It sucks. Especially for wide-bodies.

Remember when?

Can you believe it? I own 8mm home movies of my family in the 50s. An entire reel (all three minutes of it) shows my aunt and uncle boarding a plane bound for Hawaii.

Wide-bodies and Mamie EisenhowerFirst, they dressed to the nines. My uncle wore a smart suit (and hat) and my aunt was in a dress with a fancy hat that would have made Mamie Eisenhower jealous.

Everyone dressed up. Flying was a big deal. An event worthy of my Dad winding up his 8mm camera and capturing the entire take off.

The jet was not a wide-body. But it seemed as though there were no wide-bodies in heading up the stairs. (Yup, we were on the runway waving goodbye as they headed up the stars from the tarmac.)

Times have changed.

Our habits have changed too

Think about the irony in this. As we have filled our faces and expanded our waists with junk food and snacks, the airlines have shrunk seats and leg room.

So much for free enterprise and market economies.

My worst fear is sitting next to a wide-body (an immense passenger and even average today seems immense). Not just because the overhang squeezes my shoulder room. But because I feel his pain. Trying not to be obtrusive, the poor sod sits with his arms crossed trying desperately to hold his girth on his side of the armrest.

Just watching him makes me tired.

It could be worse

Wide-bodiesI have been jammed into the window seat while a mom with a baby on her lap (with a stinky diaper). She’s stuck in the middle seat. A mom and a baby are wide-bodies by default.

The problem with the airline industry is consolidation. They want wide-bodies so that they can jam in more seats. Not to give passengers more room.

My little airport had many offerings. United, Continental, American, US Air, Delta, Northwest and a smattering of low-cost providers 15 years ago.

Today. Well, American, Delta and a handful of flights a day on United. They don’t compete for my business. Instead I compete. I compete with passenger wide-bodies for the narrow little seats.

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