Lord of the Wings, Book Four

I flew on United recently for a quick trip out West. Flying Economy Class, it became immediately clear to me that I was on the dung-heap end of social stratification, consigned to a humiliating corner of the plane, devoid of leg room or any perceived honor.

When United boards its flights, their “preferred” customers not only board first, they enter the runway by means of a red carpet and (not-so-velvet) rope. We plebians board only after Bob Blackberry and the other patricians are safely tucked into their La-z-Boys in the sky.

Economy class is tight; that’s a given. What makes it worse is when the person in front of you decides to tilt their seat back in full recline. That action crushes–literally–your tenuous hold on leg room, as the seat in front of you becomes molded around the shape of your knees. Sure, you can tilt your seat back in a means of retreat, but while that frees your upper body a bit, it does nothing for your legs.

I treat reclining in Economy class with the same basic tenets of El-riding etiquette. Everyone around you has been folded into the same shit sandwich. Because of that, you need to respect everyone’s boundaries and not overstretch yours. No man is an island. Especially in Economy class.

To be continued…

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