Alaska Airlines, Your Legroom is Wasted on Me

Posted on
Nov 29, 2012

THERE IS A GREMLIN ON THE WING. No, I kid. It’s just a Celica.

Dear Alaska Airlines,

Hi! It’s me, Geraldine. You might remember me from such notable trips as AA Flight #476, Seattle to L.A. (the one that was so bumpy, NO SNACKS WERE HANDED OUT, which turned out to be not that big a deal because I spent the evening throwing up, anyway) or last month’s AA Flight #12, Seattle to Boston, during which I could not stop farting (a.k.a., Stinks on a Plane) and also, I lost my camera.

Let me know if that thing turns up, okay? There are some photos on there that I want. In particular, several snapshots of a collage I made of Elvis Presley being eaten by a robotic T-Rex wearing a bow-tie. I used my copy of Alaska Airlines Magazine to create the masterpiece. After all, you said it was mine to keep (also, your editorial staff keeps ignoring my article pitches on how to conceal your farts on cross-country flights. Granted, I am clearly unqualified to speak on that topic.)

I have utterly lost my train of thought.

No, wait, I got it!

I wanted to say thank you. And also, to tell you guys to stop wasting the nice seats on me.

Here’s the deal. On my last flight, I was given seat 17A, the window seat in an exit row. My beloved was sitting across the aisle in 17Q or something like that (the alphabet has never been my strong suit).

As far as riding in coach goes (because let’s face it: people like me do not get upgraded. We embarrass the patricians), my seat was pretty swank. It’s got lots of legroom.

I mean, lots of legroom. The seat directly in front of 17A is missing, either intentionally, or as a result of an incident with the Hulk, or maybe the architect was just drunk. That happens sometimes, you know? How else can you explain Antonio Gaudi?

Structure on the top of one of Gaudi’s buildings in Barcelona. Out of context, it looks a wee bit naughty, no?

While this seat is highly desirable, it was utterly wasted on me. I’m 5’2″, which isn’t very tall to begin with, but on top of that, I have “disproportionately short legs.” That’s an actual quote from the woman who taught that spin class I went to once and only once (I was emotionally scarred. Also? Spinning is awful. It’s like torture, except that no matter how many secrets you spill, it won’t stop. After I screamed my social security and pin numbers for the fifth time, I was asked to leave).

I don’t even use the 3/4 of an inch of legroom that regular airplane seats have. Even after I shove my bag underneath the seat in front of me (nobody does that, by the way. I’ve been watching), I still have gobs of room. Sometimes, my feet don’t touch the floor. They just dangle, much the way a child’s would.

If it sounds like I’m bragging, it’s because I am, just a weensy bit. It’s not often that a girl with “disproportionately short legs” (seriously, I should get that trademarked) has a leg up on everyone else, you know?

Also, did you notice that pun I just made? Go back and read it again, if you missed it. It’s very clever.

So what did I do with all the space I had on my last flight? I tried slumping down in my seat and extending my legs as far as they would go, just so I could say that I tried to appreciate the gift given to me, but people started staring and pointing.

“What the hell is the girl in 17 A doing?” someone asked.

“I don’t know,” someone else replied. “I think she’s drunk. And she may have designed the plane.”

Also, my extra legroom meant that my bag was waaaay up ahead of me, making it very difficult to reach the cookie I had in there. I finally got to it after we landed, but by then Rand had seen it and I had to share with him.

Stupid matrimony.

I would have much rather had the aisle seat, since I have a weensy bladder and need to get up often, but the guy sitting there thought I was kidding when I said I had too much legroom, and LAUGHED OFF MY REQUEST TO SWAP SEATS.

So I sat there, with my gobs of unused legroom and my full bladder, and tried to think of other things, but then I started obsessively dwelling on the fact that I was in a exit row.

Officially, let me state that I don’t have a problem with sitting in that row (I have clicked many a button confirming this fact while checking in online). You can be damn sure that the second anything goes wrong on a plane, I will be out of my seat and ready to use my pillow as a flotation device. Sometimes I bring my regular pillows into the shower, just to practice.

It’s just that I’m not sure I should be the first person with access to the door in case of an emergency, you know? I’m worried I might jump the gun and try cranking open that sucker in the event of something minor, like when someone gets a paper cut on their copy of US Weekly, or when the beverage cart runs out of Bloody Mary mix.

Plus, I’ve heard that the door weighs 50 pounds. Occasionally, I’ve tried lifting 50 pounds at the gym, and I can definitely do it, but damn – that’s a lot of weight, you know? Sometimes when I’m working out, I have to inspire myself, so I start screaming stuff like, “Don’t worry, fellow passengers, I WILL SAVE YOU ALL,” while bench-pressing.

That gets me almost as many weird looks as the seat slumping I mentioned earlier.

Anywho, please give some thought to the points I made in this letter. I can’t really remember what they were, but it was probably something important.




P.S. – Please consider handing out more of those Biscoff cookies. Those damn things are delicious.

Leave a Comment

  • Tiffany

    I LOVE Biscoff Cookies. I asked for a second package (which I received) with the intention of giving to my little nephew, but I couldn’t help myself. They were gone before I got off the plane.

    • Haahha. I had them too..they are delicious

  • Haha, is it ever possible to get a seat that’s “just right”? I always seem to get the row that doesn’t recline- I feel like I’ve turned into a wooden plank by the time the flight’s over

  • Ada

    Hilarious! I laughed so hard, I choked on my lollipop. Congrats, really good post, I think it’s my new favourite!

    a long time reader from Hungary

  • Mrspchong

    I p*ssed myself giggling to that to the extent that my 7 year old wanted a piece of it! I should chop off a couple of inches to bagsy that space!

  • As a 6’2″ lady with disproportionately long legs and lover of window seats… I could not be more jealous. I would have taken you up on your offer to switch seats AND given you my Biscoff thanks as a sign of my gratitude. Sigh.

    • Everywhereist

      Oh, man, 6’2″ and long-legged? I’m the one who’s jealous. Girl, you had better be wearing stilettos and skinny jeans every day.

      And sometimes mini-skirts.

  • OK, Geraldine, this was possibly the funniest damn post you’ve ever done. And THAT’S saying something!

    P.S. I’ll take your legroom! I’m tired of being origami.

  • Absolutely hilarious! I wish you wrote for companies and other organizations that send me stuff that bores me to tears but I need to read.

  • E

    Hahahaha! Literally LOL-ing! I’ve been following your blog for about a year now and I must thank you! It’s been very entertaining and insightful! (not to forget, extremely informative too!)

  • That’s hilarious! It’s amazing how many short people get good seats, especially exit row. I’m 6’4″ and it’s torture sitting in a regular seat. I bet it was funny to see you reach for that cookie. 🙂

  • Alaska Airlines didn’t know that you have disproportionately short legs.
    I just want to make it clear that this is not a justification, it’s an explanation.

  • Louise

    Absolutely hilarous. Almost choked on my coffee (not a good look).

  • Oh my gosh I read this on my train ride to work in Boston and I was DYING laughing. Out loud. Thank you for this gift.

  • Amber

    Please write a book, it’ll most likely make my life. okay thanks.

  • Read this on an American Airlines flight to Seattle today and received equivalent weird looks and pointing from fellow passengers as you garnered from seat slumping. You killed this post and it’s byfar my favorite read from you!

  • Ethel

    I need you to come narrate my life. Somehow, I’m sure the 6-year-old who can’t sleep and wakes us up at 4 AM would seem *hilarious* if you described it to me. Also, I appreciate the shout-out for us “short-legged” folks.

    Speaking of which, if you need practice lifting 50 lbs. at a time, that’s about how much my 6-year-old children weigh. I have two of them, so you could lift one in each hand if you are so inclined (and so capable). They’d probably even enjoy it :-p

  • Kathy

    I kept expecting that at some point you ended up trading seats with Rand (your “beloved”) who looks to have long legs. Was he aware you had legroom most other passengers, except apparently your idiot seatmate, would kill for?

  • I have decided that I love you and that we should now be best friends. Not in a weird, stalkerish way but in a way where I feel precisely the way you do about many things, including those damn spinning classes. I gave it a serious try but how can those people stand that horrible burning feeling in their nether regions? It’s AWFUL. I even bought a special, padded bike seat but it did no good. Still excruciating pain. I am, however, with the commenters who would gladly switch with you – I”m 5’7″ with long legs and often find myself scrunched up in airline seats. And then the person in front of me reclines their seat all the way back and I wish we could still bring switchblades on planes so I could reach through the seats and slash their arm. To the bone. Not that I would do that. Or that I even have a switchblade. But one can dream.

  • OK, seriously, you’re funny. I’ve been reading your blog all day, and am LOVING it! Keep up the great, sarcastic, sassy attitude. Keep it coming.

  • Sammi

    I am 4ft 10 even on budget airline flights I can outstretch my legs fully in the regular seats and still have plenty of room 🙂 it’s brilliant!

  • Erin

    Biscoff makes a spread….similar to a peanut butter or a nutella, only a million times better. It is heaven in a jar. Just thought I would pay that tidbit of information forward.

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