Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Admit it, this thought always crosses your mind.
You’re booked in coach. You hear the boarding announcement.
You’ve already been discreetly scanning other people’s boarding cards, as they clutch them and wondering.
When you take your seat, you watch everyone coming down the aisle and think: “This one? …No…Phew…That one? Maybe…Oh, not the baby…anything but the baby..”
Who will be the person who sits next to you and either sits there peacefully or annoys you the entire flight? (There’s rarely a middle ground.)
Etihad Airways understands how you feel.
So it wants to give you the opportunity to sit in coach and keep the rest of the row empty.
For a fee, of course.
As CNN reports, the new service has a beautifully euphemistic name — Neighbor-Free Seats.
One question that might pop into your head is: “How much?”
It seems that you’ll have to bid for the privilege when you book. You’ll get the good news (or not) 30 hours before departure.
You’ll barely be able to sleep for fearing that your bid won’t be accepted and your journey will be infected by a malodorous person with a very large laptop, one that enjoys very noisy keys. And then there’ll be his headphones that cancel no noise whatsoever.
How, though, will passengers know they’re not allowed to sit in the empty seats you’ve bought in order to demonstrate your natural anti-social tendencies?
They’ll have different-colored headrests, a message to the unclean to keep away.
This Get Off My Lawn seating offer begins July 3. I’ll be fascinated to see how popular it is and how much people are prepared to pay.
And how, many, indeed, buy three additional seats — the maximum allowed — just to keep them empty.
I wonder, too, whether any of their fellow passengers will walk up to them and make comments such as: “Who do you think you are? Piers Morgan?” or “Do you live in a detached house?”
Or perhaps even: “Tell me about your relationship with your parents.”