I freely confess that I have been spoiled by business class travel, which I usually get for my TDY trips because they usually involve more than 14 hours of travel time. But today I'm slumming - I mean, today I'm doing domestic travel - and that means coach class. Bummer.
And that brings me to the guy in seat 22E. You may have heard that the newspaper business is dying, but I can tell you it was alive and well in the seat next to mine on the flight from Dulles to Orlando this morning. I was seated on the aisle and the guy in the middle seat to my right was spreading out a copy of USA Today, and then folding it, and then re-folding it, rattling it around, and then folding and re-folding some more, really working that newspaper, non-stop for the whole two-hour flight.
Now, who reads newspapers in an economy class seat anyway? You can't actually read one without opening the thing all the way out, which takes roughly as much space as airlines provide for an entire three-seat row. With two other people elbow-to-elbow on either side of you, that just isn't feasible. Economy class gives you enough space to read a paperback, or a magazine, or an e-reader. But not a whole newspaper.
And in the second place, who has ever taken two entire hours to read USA Today? It isn't exactly a journal of scholarship and literary criticism.
Oh, the indignities one must suffer in coach.