Posted October 22, 2008 by Zak Patten
Nothing is less smile-inducing than going to the movies and choosing a seat, only to realize it doesn't recline. Or maybe finding the remnants of someone's Cherry Coke and Junior Mints stuck to the floor where your feet are supposed to rest. For whatever reason, you feel no compunction about standing up and moving to a more appealing part of the theater. Would that it were so easy on flights! Well, with AirTran's new onboard upgrades to business class, a little of that movie magic may be coming to a plane near you.
AirTran, the low-fare carrier that was recently named the fourth-most-reliable airline by Forbes, has now begun offering $49 to $99 seat upgrades after passengers have already boarded. While most airlines routinely allow upgrading at check-in or the gate, AirTran's move puts upgrades where they have the most immediate appeal. Because you never crave a better seat more than when you're faced with any one or all of the following:
- Trying to squeeze your adult-sized body into a space clearly made for a doll.
- A hygienically challenged seatmate who may just fall asleep (and drool) on your shoulder.
- The latest issue of SkyMall as your sole source of in-flight entertainment.
- Having to shell out money for every little mediocre amenity, from a one-ounce bag of pretzels to half a can of Sprite or a mini-pillow.
For fifty or a hundred bucks it's not like you'll be getting a private cabin a la Singapore Airlines. But when you first stretch out your legs, take that sip of gin and tonic, and look at the person next to you (as opposed to on top of you), that economy-class frown will just melt away.
(Photo: Justin Cederholm/Airliners.Net)
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