There should be a law outlawing six abreast on a Boeing 737 for journeys longer than two hours. Fair dinkum!

I never ask my interstate clients for business class travel. I can’t see why they should have to contribute to Qantas’ bottom line for a few hours comfort for me. But flying to Melbourne to do the ADPIA conference gave me cause for a rethink. Honestly, battery hens have it better!

I am aware that Virgin Blue run six abreast but most of their passengers are leisure travellers. Like many others, I travel for business and a degree of comfort and personal space is essential. That’s why I choose to fly what is termed a “full service” airline like Qantas. (Update: April 15. Yesterday I flew Virgin Perth-Port Hedland and it was four abreast, 2-2! However, paying for a cup of airline coffee….pass, thanks)

My frequent flier profile says “aisle seat, forward cabin” and I do pity the poor sod who finds him or herself in the middle seat. Having said that, as I write this blog, I am in row 57 on an ageing 767 on the way back from Melbourne.  But then I’m lucky to have made the flight!

On the way over on the 737-800, I’d just managed to nod off when the Cabin Manager, Lachlan, came pounding down the aisle, his generously proportioned arse bounced off my shoulder and in an instant I’m awake.

Forget sleep. Much better to stand at the galley down the back and chat to the flight attendants. 

As I understand it, the reason the 737 was employed was because the “load” was not big enough to fill, or at least make it viable for a larger aircraft. So passenger comfort  doesn’t matter to Qantas; stuff them into a 737, six abreast and keep them there for over three hours.

I’m certain that when the 737-800 was being configured thus it was meant for those relatively short hops between US or European cities, not the vast distances between Perth and Melbourne or Perth and Brisbane.

One upon a time there was an elegance to flying. Not any more; now its like catching a commuter train or bus where elegance and comfort come second to cheap airfares.

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