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

We've established by now that airlines are all about the Benjamins.

No, not the Benjamins who fly with their Jocastas, their legs scrunched up, their spines twisted beyond nature.

Airlines are all about the Benjamin Franklins.

So as they see budget airlines making money out pared-down services, they muse: "We can do that."

Welcome, then, to Economy Minus.

No, that's not what Delta Airlines is calling it. It is, however, what it is.

As the Wall Street Journal reports, the airline is introducing a Basic Economy class.

Don't worry, you still get a seat.

Well, you should.

There are no seat assignments until you check in. That coveted middle seat could be all yours.

Naturally, once you're booked there are no ticket changes either. Nor are there any of the perks you're used to if you're a frequent flier.

You know, like priority boarding or standing by for a different flight.

You are just a number. A revenue number.

You cease to be a customer. You are a mere passenger.

You can, of course, understand why Delta and other airlines are doing this. They're actually responding to a rare level of competition.

Still, the more you look at the Basic Economy fares as you book, aren't you more likely to think: "Ugh, I'm not doing that. I'm better than that"?

Then you simply spend more money to buy a seat that used to be called Normal Everyday Economy.

This is just another step for airlines to lull you forcibly into the idea that you should pay for every single thing the airline "provides."

Wow Air, an Icelandic long-haul airline that even charges you for water, is just one that celebrates this concept.

Soon, you're going to be charged for pillows, the tray table, even for a word from a member of cabin crew.

Everything is a cost. Why not get the passenger to pay for every element of that cost?

Making people miserable is one way to do business.

It's just odd for an industry that used to be, at least a little, based on a certain level of hospitality.

Published on: Sep 12, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.