Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Delta ticket offers a middle seat and little more. To avoid misery, you must pay

    As I write this I’m on a Delta jet headed to Amsterdam, then to Venice. I’m joining my extended family for a family Mediterranean cruise. Now if around-the-world tickets were 50 cents I couldn’t get around the block, so this is where I thank dear, old Dad.
    Delta has certainly learned how to extract every dollar from the customer. If you need to check a second bag (we didn’t), it’s $80. If you want to sit in anything but a middle seat, it’s an extra $49. We went ahead and paid an extra $119 for Economy Comfort, which provides four extra inches of leg room plus 50 percent more recline.
    Lucy and I are in agreement about the legroom. Who needs it? Regular seats have plenty. What we want is more booty room. And Lucy really doesn’t need much booty room! But I do find all the wails and complaints that people have about “leg” room ridiculous. There is plenty on every flight. What I want is a wider seat so strangers won’t touch me. For that matter I don’t want anyone touching me, but my legs are fine! The extra recline is nice, though.
    Flying has truly gotten to be a miserable experience. In fact, the whole thing about only allowing middle seats is because they know many of us will pay extra for an aisle or window seat. And make no mistake, I’ll pay almost anything to avoid a middle seat.
If the airlines were smart they would extend this wretched idea a little more. Whenever someone starts to pick a middle seat they ought to provide the percentage of the American population that is overweight, then the percentage that is seriously overweight. Then the odds of sitting between two overweight people. They the website could ask, “Are you sure you the risk associated with that free middle seat?” (Truth in blogging, I’m fat as a killing hog, but I don’t raise the arm rest and I don’t touch my neighbors, because I can’t stand touching strangers. Oh, I’ve been there already).
    At any rate, my plan is to blog my trip a little bit. I rented a European wireless MIFI for five dollars a day, and it provides 100 MB per day of data. They wanted double the money to “enable” Skype, which means they’ve blocked it. I refused to pay. I think I’ve found a way around the block, but we’ll see. I will report my results for anyone who might be traveling in the future. As a precaution I am removing the SIM card from my galaxy note, so that I don’t accidently use any AT&T data or calls by accident (I actually was able to just turn the SIM card over, so it won’t get lost, but the metal things won’t connect.)
    Jinny, Lucy and I are looking forward to our trip with Princess. We’re taking virtually the same Grand Med cruise that Jinny and I took eight or 10 years ago: Venice, Athens, Ephesus, Istanbul, Mykanos, Naples, Rome, Pisa/Florence, Monte Carlo (with virtually no time) and ending in Barcelona. My dad is 88 and soon to be 89 and we’ve found taking a cruise gives him something to do and provides us with a lot of fun while we’re doing it. Somehow Dad never managed to see Pompeii, so we’re doing that. He said he wants to see Rome again, and when we’ve tried to pin him down on what he wants to see so we can plan our sightseeing, he just says he wants to look at it.
    So look we will!

Pictured above is Dad at St. Mark's Square. He's in a "transportation chair," not a wheelchair. For an older person who has trouble walking, these are great. We've found that Dad enjoys going to see things when he isn't worried about losing the energy to return to the ship or to his stateroom.

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