airline economics

Air lines

One of my favourite things about Lifehacker is that it will often provide a little gem of information amidst a bigger piece of information.

Lifehacker Australia’s editor Angus Kidman has been trying to live out of just one bag for a couple of weeks – because airlines are now taxing checked luggage – which has been an interesting experiment in and of itself. This post is a list of small things he learned on the way

And this is my favourite…

“Qantas never has enough ginger beer on its domestic flights. If you like ginger beer, you’ll need a seat near the front.”

I’d never considered picking a seat on a plane based on having the full range of menu items available (or in fact being close to the front so that you get off quicker)… I’m much more concerned about trying to snatch an exit row seat.

Any flying tips you’d care to share?

Also, my other favourite tidbit of info that the writer picked up was this one:

Far too many hotels still think it’s acceptable to offer International Roast coffee.

The plane truth

We were on a plane this morning. In an exit row. I am constantly astounded by their ready availability. Don’t people ask for them? Other than me? That’s all you have to do… ask when checking in.

I’m also struck by a couple of other things about the airline industry that I’m going to record for posterity’s sake. The new $10 fee for luggage (because that’s what it is – it’s not a $10 discount for not having luggage) is surely an incentive for people to fill up the previously under used overhead storage areas. They are chockers now. They’re full of baggage from people avoiding the penalty by stuffing everything into slightly oversized backpacks and sneaking them past the check in people. It does nothing for the net weight of the plane – all it does is reduce the need for baggage handling at the other end, and makes check in less labour intensive.

Secondly, or perhaps thirdly, planes are yet to catch up with the obesity epidemic. This may not be a new thing – particularly when applied to the size of the seats and charging fat people proportionately, or on some sort of pro-fata rate. But there are some serious design and safety flaws with the emergency exits. I hadn’t noticed before Robyn pointed it out – but there’s no way a fat person is squeezing through one of those holes without a large degree of lubrication unless their flesh is particularly malleable.

So there you have it. Reflections born of a 5am awakening and a 6am departure.

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