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

There was a time when businesses understood that if their employees were flying on behalf of the company and the flight was a long one, those employees should fly in First or Business Class.

Those days have departed.

Now, companies will shovel their employees into the back of the bus to save money. And, so they don't get bored, they'll give them specific work to do on the flight.

It's utterly shameful.

It's also a reason Delta Air Lines has suddenly discovered a new revenue stream.

It used to be that regular business travelers clutched a reasonable hope that, because they flew a lot with one airline, they'd get free upgrades.

No more.

So, as Skift.com reports, they'll do anything to prevent a flight in coach.

Anything includes paying out of their own pocket to upgrade. 

On a fourth-quarter investors call on Thursday, Delta's president Glen Hauenstein revealed that business travelers, the warriors of dirty air, filthy roads and fragrant hotel rooms, choose to use their own personal money to buy upgrades.

The airline started offering simpler upgrade purchase last year. In the first six months of the scheme, it earned an extra $100 million.

Delta has become so wise to this desperation not to fly coach that it prints two separate receipts -- one for the ticket, which the passenger's employer can reimburse and one for the upgrade, which the customer will have paid for themselves to avoid the potential of complete breakdown. 

Physical and mental.

Please think, indeed, what this says about the sheer agony of Economy Class.

The seats are closer together than the eyes of a movie villain.

The seats are smaller than the mind of your average congressperson.

As for the legroom, well, it wouldn't even fit an average human head, would it?

It seems, then, that if you shovel as many seats as you can into Economy Class, you can make it so unremittingly ghastly that those who use your product regularly for business will sacrifice their mortgage-and-red-wine money simply to avoid it.

It's as if Apple were to make most of its phones with two-inch screens and home buttons made of chocolate, so that businesspeople would trade up to an iPhone X.

Still, airlines are all about the money and corporate travelers are all about survival.

When your very survival is at stake, you'll pay to escape captivity, won't you?

Published on: Jan 13, 2018