Uncategorized · December 28, 2015

Do those few inches matter?

KLIA, Kuala Lumpur to Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. Then connect on to London,transfer to Gatwick and then take another flight to Naples. All on the same day.

Booking my flight online, their “Extra Option” asks if I would like to purchase Extra Leg room of “up to 9 inches” for an extra Euro/GBP 20 -90 per seat. Seatguru puts their Boeing 777–300 seat width at 17.5 inches. 0.5 inches more than the industry standard.

13 hours and 25 minutes flying time. Economy Class. Those 9 inches sound good.

I pay the difference.

Boarded the flight several weeks later, and as I walked down the airplane aisle, I noticed how close the seats were and patted myself on the back for purchasing the “extra leg room”. Those extra 9 inches would be most welcome.

Turns out, someone forgot to tell me that the “extra legroom” was going to be communal space. And I had to play nice and share.

The extra leg room seat I had purchased was situated just behind the toilet section and next to the galley. We were seated next to an emergency door. During the flight, passengers waiting to use the toilet or wanting to stretch their legs would occupy my “extra leg room” space. My space became shared space.

Initially, I staked my claim. Hey, i paid extra money for this space. I stretched out my legs as far as I could. But besides passengers queuing to use the head and stepping on my toes accidentely, I had to contend with Flight Attendants pushing trolleys in front of them in a dimly lit cabin. Trolley vs Toes. Trolley wins. Every time!

I end up curling my legs under my seat. In effect, creating my own 17.5 inch personal space. With a view of the extra 9 inches. Traversed by trolleys. Occupied by others.

Do those few inches matter?

Does paying extra for space that you need to share with others and where you need to keep your legs under your chair, sound like a good idea?

I learnt my lesson. The extra inches of leg room is not worth it.

Got to work towards flying business class or at the minimum premium economy in the future.

(First published in my Medium blog)