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Not Giving Me Loads of Comfort

By - May 21, 2008

Air travel in the US is starting to feel like bus travel somewhere in Central America, at least from what I’ve heard. The latest sign that things are amiss? I sit down in my “business class” seat on Alaska and see this staring at me:

No Good Alaska

Not exactly confidence inspiring. The plane felt old, worn out, and, well, poorly carpeted!


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7 thoughts on “Not Giving Me Loads of Comfort

  1. prefabrik says:

    What a shame for the company. Wonder if they care..

  2. JG says:

    Air travel in the US is starting to feel like bus travel somewhere in Central America, at least from what I’ve heard.

    Well, I’ve done the bus travel thing in Central America. And U.S. air travel ain’t that bad, yet. (Although there is a certain surreal pleasure that comes from riding through the Central American landscape on seats made for 3rd graders, in a bus that still reads “Stanislaus County School District” on the side.)

    But I’ve been traveling internationally for 20 years, and I’ve always noticed a difference between U.S. airplanes and non-U.S. carriers, in terms of their wear and tear, and even their smells.

    IMHO, non-U.S. carriers, for 20 years now, have always seemed cleaner, better maintained. U.S. aircraft have a certain staleness to the air on board. I don’t know why it is. There is this sort of mixture of jet fuel and old coffee smells. Which makes complete sense.. but somehow the international carriers are better able to keep those smells out of the cabin, or at least keep them from soaking into the fabric of the aircraft and becoming stale. Hand in hand with that is the condition of the seats, the carpets, etc. U.S. aircraft even feel “dustier”. I’ve long noticed this difference of which you speak. It’s not a recent thing.

  3. You should DEFINITELY complain. Even if it’s a trip paid for by your business- they will probably give you FF miles as compensation. That looks Greyhound gross.
    -Jeff
    http://buyrosevillepottery.com/

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  5. ken says:

    The sad thing is that Alaska is one of the few US carriers I still enjoy flying with…

  6. John Keats says:

    Perhaps US carriers should bring back smoking on flights! Funny, we didn’t have these complaints back then in the good ‘ol days.

  7. Jay Esa says:

    Keats says “Perhaps US carriers should bring back smoking on flights! Funny, we didn’t have these complaints back then in the good ‘ol days.”

    Perhaps it was because neither the smoker or his seat mates could smell ANYTHING but smoke in those good ol days.

    But more likely it is because of the age of the fleet in the US. Its been getting older (average aircraft age) for years and only the high price of jet fuel is likely to change that. They simply can not afford to re-engine these older airframes to achieve fuel efficiency, and they will have to start buying new aircraft.

    Alaska, one of the smaller carriers (and one with which I am very familiar) has more planes than many national carriers, and the price to upgrade these in any reasonable timer frame is astronomical.

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