British air carrier Monarch Airlines is kitting out their planes with seats fit for a king. Which is to say, the seats have something in common with thrones: They don't recline. Additionally, these new "ergonomic" seats also feature a nice, gaping cavity for you to stare at in place of in-flight entertainment. "The airline's new seat design also includes an innovative tablet holder for the technology savvy holidaymaker, an aviation first," the company enthuses. "[This] enables our customers to create their own personal in-flight entertainment system."
Admittedly they are not pioneers in this area, as Ryanair has been making people less comfortable since the early 2000s. And the motivation behind the non-reclining seats is, sadly, quite logical. Some 60% of flight attendants reportedly favor non-reclining seats, saving them from takeoff and landing nagging duty. Passengers hate when others recline into their own personal space. But primarily, of course, it's about money: Less hardware makes the seats lighter, which saves on fuel.
Assuming the airline industry continues to march in this budgetary direction, here are our predictions for:
Top Ten Airline Cost-Cutting Measures Coming Your Way
10. "In the event of a cabin depressurization, please place the drop-down orange mask over your face. Note that the plastic bag will not inflate, because, frankly, it isn't hooked up to anything."
9. "For our First and Business Class customers, today's in-flight meal service will consist of sandwiches made and brought from home by the passengers in Economy Class. We ask our Economy Class passengers to please start passing those sandwiches forward at this time."
8. "For today's in-flight entertainment, we invite the passengers seated in rows 35 through 45 to collaborate on a Talent Show to put on for the rest of the passengers. And by 'invite' we mean it's mandatory...Yes, that means you, grandma with the bum leg, and you, 'guy who doesn't speak English....'"
7. "To save on costly standardized uniforms, today our flight attendants are wearing outfits purchased from a costume business closeout. Today's flight attendants are Miranda, the one dressed like a giant squirrel; Marcus, who is dressed like the Statue of Liberty; Chelsea, in the 'Sexy Nurse' costume; and Bryan, who is inexplicably dressed like Batman but wearing Superman's red cape and Hello Kitty's head...Bryan, please do take that giant head off, you're frightening the children in Coach—I mean, Economy."
6. "This plane is not equipped with bathrooms, but there is a complimentary bedpan underneath your seat, which doubles as a flotation device. Unless you've filled it, in which case it will not float. And you will drown."
5. "For the passengers sitting in 12-B, 27-E and 33-D: Our X-ray machines have revealed that your luggage contains the most valuable contents out of all of our passengers on the plane, which means we have seized your baggage and will be auctioning off the contents on eBay. For a chance to bid on your items and win them back, please contact a flight attendant for the specific auction numbers."
4. "In the event of a water landing, please proceed to the emergency exit doors. This plane is not equipped with inflatable life rafts, but flight attendants standing by the exits will hand out pool noodles. The larger, thicker, pink pool noodles are reserved for First and Business class passengers, and we ask that Economy passengers please use the shorter, thinner, purple pool noodles."
3. "We would like to note that smoking IS allowed on this aircraft, provided that whomever lights up is willing to pay the 36,000-gallon fuel cost for the entire flight."
2. "Today our flight is crewed by two part-time co-pilots, one of them a high school student. To save on costs, we ask that any passengers with Microsoft Flight Simulator X experience please rotate into the cockpit for twenty-minute shifts."
1. "We hope you enjoyed your flight! Now as you exit the aircraft, please grab a sponge or towel and help us clean the exterior of the plane. Economy passengers will do the scrubbing, while our First and Business Class passengers will do the drying."