If you aren't familiar with 29E, it's one of the more well-known bits of customer complaints in the airline industry. Information about Complaint Zero and it's validity can be found HERE and the letter itself, complete with illustrations can be found HERE (that second one is a PDF).
One of the great things about having worked with Fred, our CEO, for so long is that we have a very easy working relationship and friendship. How that plays out is that he says and does stuff, some of it crazy, and I give him a really hard time about it. When we planned this first trip to Singapore, he had very definite ideas about the seats we should choose on the plane and pointed them out on a seat map. He and Judith (another owner in the firm), were going to sit in the center aisle and Kamen (co-worker) and I would each sit on the window sides. He said these seats were great because of the configuration. As I looked at the seat map, I had my doubts. “But…these seats are right next to the bathrooms!” How could that possibly be a good thing??
Since then, I teased, mocked and faux-complained with varying degrees of intensity. I even got Kamen in on it. “You’ll see,” Fred would say.
Well, I see. The other nice thing about our relationship is that I have no qualms whatsoever about saying those three little words. You were right. He WAS right, as he so often is. This seat is awesome. First of all, it is next to the lavatory, but the lav is configured in such a way that the entrance is 2 seat pods in front of me and faces the front of the plane, so I can’t see it. There’s also a curtain in the aisle 1 seat pod ahead, so there’s no light leakage from people going in and out. And there are 6 lavatories on the plane, so with 100 passengers, each lav gets very little traffic. Because it’s a bulkhead, there’s no seat in front of me, which gives me the extra space. Other rows have an entertainment screen, a foot well on one side so that you have a place to stretch out in flatbed mode, and a small cubby for stowing items during flight. Instead of a foot well, my seat has a fold-down bench of sorts. When I’m seated, I can rest my feet on it, and in flatbed mode, I have much more freedom to turn over and angle my body any way I want because there’s no confining foot well.
Another benefit is that I can have guests. After I woke up from my nap (2 hours of sleep – this after 7 hours of sleep at the beginning of the flight), Fred came over and sat on the bench and we talked and had a little snack together with the tray table unfolded between us. Then Judith woke up and came over and sat on the arm rest for a minute, but given how wide the seat is, I told her to just slide in next to me, so she did. So there we were, all three of us sitting and taking together in my seat pod. It was just like we were gathered around a little café table, except for the 39,000 feet in the air part.
And eventually I promise I'll blog about Singapore itself, not just the flight there. (Though I do believe that, given the length of the flight itself, 2 posts are justified. Barely.)