Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Do you shoot for the stars in the hope of reaching, well, the outskirts of your city? 

Or, perhaps, even somewhere with a beach, a golf course and a strange sense of serenity.

We can all have high, hopeful aims.

It's just that life has a way of chuckling at them, as it slices them to leprechaun level.

Which brings me, again, to American Airlines CEO Doug Parker.

Last week, I mentioned that he spoke to employees via the airline's Crew News and admitted that he'd never actually flown on one of its new 737 MAX planes.

These are the ones overstuffed with seats and enjoying toilets smaller than the ones you'll see in a dollhouse.

These are also the ones that don't have any seatback screens.

On the same Crew News chat, Parker was, as View From The Wing recounted, asked by a Flight Attendant why the airline was taking the screens away.

He admitted this saved the airline money. Not only is there less hardware and maintenance cost, but it also makes the airplane lighter. 

Instead, the airline expects you to bring your own device, charge it -- if your seat has a working power outlet, that is -- and stream either your own movies or those the airline will offer.

If, that is, the Wi-Fi is good enough.

Which I've yet to see on any plane. Ever. 

Another coincidence with the absence of seatback screens is that it makes it easier for American to shove in thinner seats, thereby allowing for the plane to have more of them.

It's a win-win-win for the airline. 

What about for the passenger? 

The Flight Attendant who asked the question told Parker that people often forget to bring their headphones, never mind have devices upon which they can play movies.

Moreover, what do you say to a family with, say, three kids? 

Just think how many devices they're going to have drag onto a plane, otherwise the kids might have conniptions.

And let's hope they're not flying Basic Economy, aka Sub-Cattle Class, or they might not be able to get those devices on board at all, as their cabin baggage allowance is minimal.

But Parker offered a kicker.

He was asked whether removing these screens was actually "Going For Great," which is American's tagline.

He insisted it is.

Personally, I believe him.

It's just a matter of perspective. 

Too much of the current evidence suggests that American's management views the concept of great as meaning great profits.

It may well be that Parker is right, that we'll all be so device-laden in the future that we won't want seatback screens.

But try and put your computer down on a tray table in Economy Class. How are you going to watch entertainment on, say, your iPad at the same time? 

Many people -- sad to say -- multitask. 

Economy Class seats aren't even built for single-tasking. Tasks like eating and breathing, for example.

Instead, they're built to maximize airline profits.

I fear, therefore, that there may be quite a few passengers getting on these new planes and going for great fits of screaming.

And please spare a thought for the Flight Attendants.

Yes, they've been given some decent raises recently.

But it's surely no coincidence that one of them asked this question. 

The Flight Attendant surely suspects they'll now have to do more explaining, more soothing and more well, going for great.

Going for great sips of whisky in the galley, just to stay calm.

Why the Best Travel Gadget You Can Buy Is a $30 Neck Pillow
Published on: Jan 21, 2018