I am no stranger to air travel. In fact, I just got back from a quick trip to Texas [Post to come!]. On this last trip I’ve noticed airlines are becoming very a la carte. Want to pick a seat? $$ Checked bag? $$ Carry on? Even more $$$. I have no interest in shelling out for “stretch room” or overpriced soft drinks, but here are some airline features I would consider paying for:
Introvert Seating Section
This would be the Switzerland of assigned seating. A neutral ground where small talk is not needed. No one would be mean, of course, but we would all simply agree to dispense with some societal conventions and indulge our self-isolating tendencies. No one would be under obligation to get to know their neighbor, exchange life stories, attempt to discover a common interest, or look at vacation photos. I admit, sometimes conversation with a stranger can be really interesting, insightful even. But sometimes I’m really tired, on my millionth layover, and every word you speak is sucking the life straight from my soul, and I need to sleep ok?
Note: It might also be helpful for this section to have a rule about not interrupting people while reading. Maybe people who are not into reading do not get this, but if I am reading a novel and there is oh, about 40 pages left, I am not in a talking place. It’s nothing personal, but things are about to get real. I need to be alone with my fictional obsession as this plays out.
Chair Recline /Chair Recline Veto
You pay $5.00 to recline your chair.* I pay $10.00 to stop that madness. I’m working with recycled air and no leg room as it is.
*Face it they are going to start charging for this before we know it.
Soundproof Headphone Rental
You know those really expensive Brookstone ones that you never buy? I want to rent them for like 2 hours only and for no more than $4.00.
Reading Enjoyment Guarantee/Book Whisperer
I feel people are easily bamboozled by the over selection of books in those airport newsstands. It’s too easy to pick something marketed to look good, but actually not what you were in the mood for at all. If I pay those ridiculous book store prices, I want a guarantee. So my idea is this: someone should wander the airport terminals and help people make reading choices.
This person would just grab the offending book out of your hand [Obvious apathy all over your face] and say “I see you are reading a popular, supernatural teen novel there and not enjoying it.” Then they would give you a knowing look [possibly a wink?] and say “Try this.” Then they hand you a book of a similar genre [no judgments there], but higher quality. After one page you are immediately impressed and want to form a life friendship with this wise book guru, but it’s too late as they’ve already disappeared into the night, er, rather the food court line.
Compatible Personality Seating
Ever sit down on a plane and actually have a strikingly handsome, age appropriate guy sit next to you? Then have him look deep into your eyes and say “ Would you mind switching seats with my girlfriend?” We’ve all been there. Now, I’m not into the idea of being set up on a airplane blind date [Shudder]. However, I do like the idea of someone having a job where they try to match up single flyers without their knowledge, based on compatibility, be it romantic or platonic. I would love doing this job. They’d only need to add a few extra lines to the airline ticket purchase process. I would suggest the following questionnaire/ personality test:
- Single [and looking for love]?
- Single [and looking to vent breakup gossip with a stranger]?
- Favorite music genre?
- Favorite book?
- First screenname/email/social media handle?
- Last Netflix marathon?
I would not allow any more personality analysis questions as I would also want this to be a challenge for the arranger. This person would be part matchmaker, part detective. I now realize this may be a reality show I am subconsciously workshopping. Oh my gosh, let’s call it “Meet Cute.”
Airlines everywhere I anxiously await your implementation of these ideas. Also, while I have your attention, I’d appreciate if someone did something about the deplorable state of the McDonalds in the Denver airport [Near the Frontier gates].
Currently: Getting back in to “real” post travel life [booo] and celebrating my sister’s engagement [yay!!!!]