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

Whenever airlines have good news, I get excited.

Well, when I say excited, I mean fascinated as to how good this news might be.

The moment my eyes fell upon this headline, therefore, I felt a frisson in several extremities: "PLUS-SIZED MAKE OVER FOR WORLD TRAVELER AND WORLD TRAVELER PLUS."

It was, you see, at the top of a British Airways press release and it made me wonder whether this was the airline's recognition that human beings have generally got bigger, so the airline was going to make everything more roomy.

My eyelids were veritably oscillating as I began to read.

My eyes fell upon phrases such as "fully refreshed Boeing 777 fleet and new generation premium economy and economy seats" and "elegant new seats with 50 per cent larger entertainment screens."

This sounded thrilling. I like to travel in World Traveler Plus, BA's version of Premium Economy. It really isn't bad.

Here, though, there were enhancements to Economy Class (World Traveler), too.

"The World Traveler cabins have also been fitted with the newest, most enhanced seating, which feature a six-way headrest with adjustable ears for added comfort and movable middle arm rests, which is particularly useful for customers traveling with children," said the press release.

I began to rise toward an ululation. Finally, an airline had stopped to think what its passengers craved and was delivering it.

Even for Economy Class passengers.

The press release gushed about the new lighting which will "lull travelers to sleep at night."

There was talk of making Business Class slightly smaller, in order to accommodate more Premium Economy seats. 

This was all so lovely. I was ready to concoct a trip on one of these things as soon as possible.

And then.

And then it was as if I'd walked into a funhouse of horror.

There were notes for editors at the bottom.

One read: "The World Traveler cabin in the fleet's four class 777s will see an additional 12 seats added."

I ululated. But not with joy. Instead, a primordial pain forced out the sound from just below my duodenum.

All this promise of "the newest, most-enhanced seating" omitted one tiny detail: these new, most-enhanced seats will be smaller.

Through the tears pouring upon my keyboard, I emailed British Airways to ask how much smaller these seats would be. 

I will update, should I hear. 

Why must it so often end this way?

The plus-side makeover that passengers might have ben hoping for might end up something of a squeeze.

Published on: Mar 6, 2018
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