I flew from Seattle to LaGuardia through Chicago, which gave me lots of chances to observe my fellow travelers. I’m struck by how many people ask for last minute accommodations. People book the tickets they can get, knowing they don’t have the seating arrangements they want. They rely on asking for, or demanding, accommodations at the gate. Overweight people want an aisle seat, because it’s too hard to shift their bulk into the seat closer to the window, which may be where they are assigned. People with sore knees who want to stretch out their legs also want aisle seats. Couples who are traveling together want to sit together, even for a short 90 minute flight. God forbid they should sit a few feet away from each other.
Because I often travel alone, I’m often asked to be the accommodator — which annoys me most of the time. I like an aisle seat toward the front in biz class, and I book well ahead to get it. I’m glad to accommodate an adult traveling with a young child, when the two have separate seats. I’m not so glad to be the accommodating one otherwise. Fortunately, the choice is mine — I get to keep my seat if I want to. As long as I can bear the glares, I’m good.