The Tight Fit of Delta Airlines

Packed Overhead Bins

Delta’s Packed Overhead Bins

Snuggled neatly in the middle of row 24 on a Delta Airlines flight today, my quick trip from the East Village of New York City to Seattle commenced.

For the first time, the news-making, new baggage policy instituted by Delta was on display. For those who missed it, your second bag can no longer be freely checked. It will now cost you 25 U.S. Dollars.

I did not carry a second bag this time. For some unlucky passengers, though, even having just one bag was cause for concern.

Mayhem in the Aisles

With about 15 people remaining to be seated as the plane boarded at JFK, all the baggage compartments had been filled to the brim. Sure… it gets tight in the overhead compartment from time to time, but this was the first time I’ve seen so many people required to check their bag – and they weren’t even late to the plane, just the last ones on. Don’t dally on Delta!

Editor’s note: A couple of the unlucky passengers had big bags that were way too big to attempt to put overhead. These people are known as “fat baggers.” Serves them right. Enjoy the baggage claim, fat baggers.

For what it’s worth, the flight attendants did not appear to try and charge anyone for checking their bags after all the bins were filled. (What a scam that would be! Devilish! Maybe next time. Four horsemen of the Apocalypse, right this way.)

Flight attendants seem increasingly stressed these days as airlines, such as Delta, grapple with ways to make more money without raising air fares. Turning towards their embattled staff to carry out unpopular policies isn’t going to help.

Up From The Ground Came Some Bubblin’ Crude

To please passengers, Delta seems to be trying to go more “Jet Blue,” if you will. A Direct TV screen was staring me in the face with live feeds from CNBC, CNN, ESPN, ESPN2, A&E, Comedy Central as well as movies and games.

Trivia on Delta

The Answer Was Toronto

In that the trivia game was the only free game, I signed on and waged trivial war against my fellow passengers. In between each question which is displayed and answered by pressing a button on the headrest screen, complete standings along with seat number and chosen game pseudonym are in full view. Fun. Unless you’re bad at trivia.. then everyone knows that the guy with static cling hair in aisle 24 isn’t any good at trivia.

I must have played the trivia game for over a 1/2 an hour and then quietly signed off.

More Perks

Free junk food was available including chips, snack bars and other things the doctor and dentist have told me are bad for me.

Today, I decided to try something from the Delta “menu,” too. Yes, a menu.

With only a fruit plate ($6) and bagel ($3) to choose from, I went for the bagel. I love choices.

As one might guess, this was not the quality of First Avenue’s popular Ess-A-Bagel‘s bagel. The Delta bagel was a bready, condensed circular loaf that came with a “pad” of cream cheese and two “things” of strawberry jam. Tempted to use it as a headrest, I resisted and satisfied my limited, early morning hunger pangs.

Generously, the balding, freckle-headed human in front of me did not put his seat in the “screw the guy behind me” position until half way through the flight. I was able to read The New York Times and use my little Apple Computer MacBook. Others had to deal with their new friend from the start.

I wonder if the airlines will someday gas us into unconciousness, pack us like ski equipment and then revives us after we’ve landed and been unloaded?

Safeco Field in Seattle

Safeco Field in Seattle

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June 2nd, 2008

Entry Filed under: Travel


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