don’t want to take responsibility for their actions anymore. I heard a celebrity recently who was just out
of rehab say, “I have chosen to accept the consequences that I was given
in life…” Wait a minute; “Life”
didn’t dump a gallon of vodka down your gullet and push your Porsche into a
light pole… YOU did! Why are people so
reluctant to admit their screw-ups? If
Senator Larry Craig had just admitted he was gay 8 years ago, people would have
shrugged their shoulders and moved on.
airport police for his bathroom indiscretions was incomprehensible; but I
ago I sat next to a gentleman (he was in the middle) who was just whining like
crazy that Northwest “screwed” him and put him in the middle. I asked, “how often do you fly?” “All the time,” he replied. Hmm.
Dare I say, “then its your own fault!”
extraordinarily rare times that I get stuck in a middle seat on an airplane,
I’m doubly frustrated because I know I can only blame myself. Yes, there’s a “profile” section of
my airline’s web page and I have selected Aisle and Window (in that order) for
my preference, but the airline is bound by so many other rules for selection
that most seats are downright taken before the computer can evaluate what my
particular seat preference might be. You
don’t want to get stuck in the computer, pin-balling around until you settle
somewhere you don’t want to be. Let’s take
a look at the algorithm, shall we?
computer decides to seat you:
elite? Yes? Is he Silver, Gold, or Platinum? Platinum?
No problem, we’ll put him in first class. WAIT, there are 23 Platinum fliers on this
flight and only 16 first class seats and 5 of those have been taken by people
who paid the full first class fare. I
should be fair about this; I’ll take the Platinum fliers that booked the most
expensive fares first, then the ones who booked the earliest. Now I’ve got some Platinum people left over
so I’ll honor their preference choice and put them in an aisle near the
front. OK, on to Gold and Silver…
Similar decision tree there, and finally, coach fliers. Is it 24 hours prior to departure? No? So
1/3 of the plane is still “locked” for people to buy the coach choice
seats. Most of these coach fliers don’t
realize they can log in and pick a seat in the rear of the plane so I’ll just
leave their seat choice empty for now.
When the 24 hour deadline approaches, I’ll open the 1/3 of the coach
choice seats and go through all of this again…
isn’t it? That’s NWA’s decision tree and
I’m not even making it up.
you do; the very second you book a flight and you receive the confirmation that
it is in fact, booked; you log into the airline’s website and you choose a seat
(use the SeatGuru.com to help with this, its awesome). Pick an aisle, pick a window, an exit, hell;
pick the middle, I don’t care, just get a seat.
This is your “last resort seat” and it represents the worst
possible case scenario. Now, go to your
calendar or your Blackberry and set an alarm reminder to beep at you exactly 24 hours prior to your
departure with an alarm message that says, “Get a Friggin Seat!” 24 hours prior to departure is when the airline
unlocks the “Coach Choice” premium seats. When you go to the website, you’ll find many
more seats available that weren’t available to you before. Get one, and get it quickly. The longer you wait, the more people will log
in and “schmuck” you into your last resort. If you have elite status and you get
upgraded, awesome! But you are still the
one responsible for covering your butt (with a decent seat) if you don’t!