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


At least that's how it seems that airlines think of you these days.

You're not a passenger. You're yield.

If your presence on the plane delivers profit for the airlines, you're (sort of) welcome.

If it doesn't, well, you just might get bumped off the plane.

We've become used to airlines turning the nickel-and-dime into a crime.

Why, some are even charging you extra to sit next to your own kids.

The latest to stimulate a little wrath among its passengers is British Airways.

As The Telegraph reports, Brits are outraged that their national carrier won't serve two meals to its long-haul economy passengers on flights that are under eight and a half hours.

I wonder why it isn't nine hours. I wonder why it isn't seven.

Actually, I don't. Actually, I'm sure some actuary or number-crunching sort was involved in choosing this number.

Coincidentally, flights from London to New York happen to be around seven and a half hours.

The problem, critics feel, is the insult that's added to the injury.

Not only is British Airways doing away with the second meal, it's replacing it with a little chocolate bar or some other dainty snack.

"I do think it's insulting to be served a fun-size chocolate bar after paying so much for a seat," one passenger told The Sun.

Perhaps passengers should be grateful that BA isn't serving prison bologna.

But here's another glory: It isn't just economy passengers who might suffer.

Those in premium economy who happen to be flying for less than seven hours will also be put on the chocolate diet.

You want to believe, don't you, that the airline is doing this in order to help Brits lose a little weight?

I give you, then, a fine British Airways spokesman, who was spokesmanning to The Daily Mail: "We regularly review our catering to ensure we are investing where it matters most to our customers."

Translation: "We decided that if we took away this second meal, passengers would accept it because, let's face it, they're even paying extra to sit by a window these days, so they expect us to get miserly here or there. Well, it's more here and there, isn't it?"

I wonder, though, if anyone will really miss the lack of a second meal.

It seems odd to be lamenting the absence of airline food. Especially in economy.

It's a little like lamenting that no one in the audience is talking loud in a movie theater.

Still, you know this is all about profits. Um, I mean investment in places where it matters most to customers.

Guess which airline group saw a 64 percent rise in profits this year? Guess which airline group says it's going to make an operating profit of 3.2 billion Euros next year?

Why, it seems to be the International Airlines Group.

This, oddly enough, is the group that happens to be the parent of British Airways.