Tourist First

Travel notes and advice from around the world. Above, the daily flight from Managua at the San Carlos, Nicaragua, airstrip.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Airlines' Caste System

     In recently booking flights online for us from Baltimore to Panama for January 2014, my wife and I ended up several rows apart.  Jane, who did the booking, was paying cash for her ticket and using miles for mine.  The miles upgraded me to something like "economy elite," in row 16, leaving Jane back in steerage in rows 20, 22, or 24 on different legs despite attempts to choose different seats.   We hope we can work something out at the gate so that we're sitting together.
    While it's disappointing that American Airlines is trying to turn our marriage into a class struggle, it's just a sign of the times.  In the Sunday, July 7, 2013, New York Times, the novelist, editor and biographer James Atlas wrote about the airlines' slicing and dicing of its passengers into various classes with wildly different flying experiences although all are on the same plane.  Click HERE for a link to his article.


  1. Thanks for the link to the New York Time article. I fly business a lot in my job and I always feel funny when the econo passengers parade by my comfortable seat enroute to their crowded seats. Wish the airlines could go back to the sort of egalitarian service they had in the 50's and 60's when I started flying. It was always coach in those days. I don't think buisness class existed.

  2. You have written such a in-depth article, i really enjoyed reading it.

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