Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Short people got no reason 

Mitch is upset that Northwest Airlines is offering to sell aisle seats with a $15 upcharge versus sitting in the middle. He's 6'5" and he thinks they're after him:

Let's see - wretched service, no pretzels, no pillows, surly strikeprone staff, and making you pay to not feel like you're in the black hole of Calcutta...

...Why would one take Northwest, again?

Precisely because I can buy the kind of seat I want. Let me review my options: I can sit at the window and disturb my seatmates two or three times with visits to the bathroom -- this due to frequent use of beer to alleviate my discomfort with flight; I can sit on the aisle and have my shoulders constantly bumped and scraped by the food cart that has no pretzels for Mitch (I never seem to have this problem after ordering aforementioned beer); or I can sit in the middle with my wide shoulders, save enough money for even more beer, and boy is the guy in the aisle seat mad at me now!

Humor aside, the ability to price different goods differently makes for a more efficient market. Precisely because the middle seat is less desirable than the window or aisle, its price should be less. This type of pricing often annoys people: baseball teams wanting more money started charging more for the Yankees and Red Sox games (the Twins are doing it this year) which causes a lot of people to complain. Truth be told, if you asked everyone on the plane what they paid for their tickets, you'd find a wide range of prices. Airlines have price discriminated for years.

But what do I know? I'm 5'8". Seat length isn't my issue.

Categories: ,