Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Is there anything that isn't being disrupted, revolutionized or, at the very least, being alt-ered?
Few services have seen more change than airlines.
Essentially, passengers have been squeezed -- both physically and financially -- while airline executives have sat in their first-class seats and thought: "What can we charge them for now?"
Yet not every airline announcement necessarily offers bad news.
Sometimes, planes take off on time and no part of your seat falls off.
I'd like, therefore, to offer you the latest American Airlines idea as good news. That's before I toss a little window-shade in its direction.
As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports, American is getting rid of seatback screens.
Its newest Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will have pristine seatbacks that will never get poked.
"Every customer with a phone, tablet or laptop will be able to watch free movies and TV shows from our extensive on-board library, as well as free live television channels, all without purchasing an in-flight Internet connection," the airline said in an internal memo.
Of course, not every customer might want to pull out their phone, tablet or laptop. Not every customer might want to keep charging them either.
American insists that 90 percent of its passengers carry on some electronic item of joy.
The other 10 percent? Oh, head on back to Sub-Cattle Class, why don't you?
You can see the flowing generosity here. Without all the wiring and screen weight that goes into providing you with the seatback screens, the airlines can save money on fuel.
You see, airlines are very much geared to making as much money as it's humanly possible to make before their senior figures retire to their tasteful McVillas on a remote island somewhere off the Carolinas.
Wait, I'm surely being unfair. American is upgrading to better Wi-Fi. This is merely a reflection of our increasingly wireless world.
And this is so far only limited to domestic flights. International flights will still have the seatback screens.
Please, though, let me offer you a slightly different picture on a slightly different channel. (And it really is free here.)
What has been at the very core of airline "service" over the last few years? To charge you for things that you used to think were free.
So, yes, American (and United Airlines is already taking a similar screen-free step) might tell you that your entertainment will be free now. But once it's got you into the idea of having to taking your own computer, tablet or phone out, you can feel confident that you're going to be charged for it in the future.
Unless, of course, you do what some already do -- pre-load movies and shows onto your device before the flight.
And here's another revenue stream I can see flowing from those fine entrepreneurial minds of airline executives: "Oh, you forgot to bring a tablet or computer, grandma? We can rent you one. For a one-time fee of $15."
You've got used to paying through the nose. Now pay through the eyes.
Please, you'll accuse me of being unnecessarily cynical, heartless and devoid of seeing the good in humanity.
To which I'll reply: "The airlines started it."