Florida tourism industry should be concerned about efforts to make flying even more uncomfortable

Recently, I was able to make it out to the west coast to visit a friend. I don’t travel a lot, so it was an event. The experience for the most part was enjoyable, save for a 4 hour delay along the way. I found my time in the airplane cabin to be acceptable.

It’s also important to note that “acceptable” from me might mean uncomfortable for most people. I was in the military for a while, where comfort and travel didn’t necessarily have to go together. I’m not a strong reference.

It is cause for concern that airlines are searching for ways to make your experience in the air less comfortable (story HERE).

And it’s something tourism entities in Florida should be concerned about.

On my return from the west coast, I was on a plane full of families that were coming here to vacation and have a good time. They were already uncomfortable, with parents also having to tend young children while somehow managing to not spill hot coffee from their tiny seat trays and on to their laps.

Now, airlines are considering even smaller seats, which have been described as a “bicycle seat with a back”.

Are you kidding me? Short of hiking ticket prices higher and even further out of reach of middle class travelers, I can’t think of a more effective deterrent to keep visitors out of Florida.

Especially, international travelers, who continue to make their way to Florida in record breaking numbers.

Who should fight this fight? No, not the Florida taxpayer. That’s a lazy way out.

It should be the theme parks and affiliated associations that profit from tourism. Disney needs Thanos to snap these seats out of existence.

It should also be our elected officials who point to tourism as a talking point for their reelection campaigns. The goal is to want to make people get on the plane, not to scare them off of it, or to push their money to another destination.

This also isn’t a Florida problem either. Hopefully, they’ll be national or even international push back for what is essentially a money grab.

We understand the airline industry isn’t the easiest business to be in these days, but from my experience the way to increase revenues is to charge passengers who abuse baggage policies and implement fees on entertainment and luxuries.

If flying becomes even more miserable, it won’t be long before parents tell their kids “Hey, let’s stay home and we’ll buy you [insert Fortnight or hoverboard reference here] instead.”

This hurts Florida. Let’s keep an eye to the sky on how airline carriers are treating the lifeblood of our economy.”

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