Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I've got my long legs out...

I'm tall.  At 6' 4" (about 1m90) I'm not *that* tall, just taller than average.  I am in proportion, and therefore come equipped with longer than average legs.

Why is it then, that I feel discriminated against when asked to do certain things? 

Driving cars is becoming easier, as taller consumers are catered for, I have however never driven an early mini, or managed to get my hands on a supercar - although Jeremy Clarkson seems to get in (just) to these things, it's simply not practical in some cases for everyday use.

Another example is flying, and this is one which really does wind me up - every time I fly.  Every. Single. Time.

I will research some seat pitches (or one of you lovely readers may be able to help!), however understand that the trend is an increase over the last few years, I believe it has reached a staggering 31" on BA longhaul flights in economy. Seat pitch indicates (I think!) the distance between the rows of seats - a measly 31" to fit my long legs in for a 10 hour flight is, imho, totally unacceptable, cattle gets more space when flying!

Each time I check in for a flight, I ask whether there is any chance of getting a seat with slightly more legroom, to which the normal response is a flat out no, with the exception of recent offers of being 'allowed' to pay for a bit more room. 

Emergency exit seats tend to be the ones with more legroom, these seats never used to be assigned until travellers were physically at the airport, and the check in staff could assess their ability to open the exit in the event of an emergency, now apparently the safety of other passengers on the plane could be at risk in the event of an emergency, because someone with more cash - not necessarily fit to open the door - has 'bought' the right to a particular seat.

I always make the effort the arrive early, and to check in as soon as possible the day before, when the online check in opens, however it is becoming more and more frustrating that people are given the option of buying this space, as opposed to placing people who cannot physically get their legs in to the meagre space in coach.

When 'sitting' in these seats, I am forced to either ask the person in front to put their seat up, or put my legs out in the aisle - when I normally get hit several times by the trolley!

Fat people are, in extreme cases, asked to purchase 2 seats to accommodate their bulk, however I've been unlucky to be next to one that has not - again, this could be construed as a physical discrimination in that the seats are not fit for purpose - where the issue is deemed medical.

I want action, I need your help as I am not sure the best way to go about this, but come on, we're in the 21st century, and I can't get my legs in a plane seat - the Disability Rights Commission do not, at present, cover air travel, and the airlines will not be interested. 

Another issue is the rude inhabitants of London (I live in London but do not consider myself to be rude!), when on the tube - fine, you read your newspaper, screw the people who are trying to get on the tube (which they've paid a small fortune for, thanks Ken!), or when they do get on, why not just stop. Idiots.

What do I do, who can help me get heard....?  Or of course, you can always donate moeny to me so that I can afford to fly in business.... ;-)

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