When you think about a "choice" economy-class seat, what first comes to your mind? An exit row seat? Aisle? Window? The photo above?
Not so fast. It seems the definition of "choice" is evolving all the time.
Take US Airways, for example. The carrier's "Choice Seats" programme generally allows customers to pay a little extra for a window or aisle seat towards the front of the economy-class cabin. But not always. In fact, a US Airways Choice Seat might not even recline!
In US Airways' latest employee newsletter, the carrier is asked why it sells non-reclining seats on the Boeing 767 against the bulkhead (row 11) as Choice Seats.
Here is US Airways' answer:
"We are continually looking at our Choice Seats program and making adjustments as to how many Choice Seats are available for sale on a flight as well as their location. In the case of the 767, although that particular row doesn't recline, its proximity to the exit and Zone 1 boarding priority make it a product our customers are willing to pay for to enjoy, so we sell it as a Choice Seat. This is especially true for customers traveling between PHL and CLT - a trip that we operate several times each day using 767 equipment."So now being merely close to an exit row qualifies as a good seat? Correct.
To quote my Irish aunties, "That's desperate."
I know that many of you do this before you fly, but if you want the real skinny on your aircraft seat, be sure to check out SeatGuru by TripAdvisor, which shows the good, the bad and the ugly of aircraft cabins.
Here is SeatGuru's take on US Airways' 767-200 service. Looks like Row 11 is full of "poor seats", making it a poor choice indeed (perhaps with the exception of the high-frequency PHL-CLT route, Mr. Dan Webb :-)
(Photo above from jsmjr's Flickr photo stream)