Yesterday, the Internet was torn apart by a great moral mystery surrounding a virus. Video of a man hitting a woman's seat as she tries to sit back. Some people took the man's side – tall people have knees and it's rude to sit back! Others took the side of the woman – she paid her place and has every right! Well, everyone steps aside because Delta CEO Ed Bastian has an opinion and has officially interfered in the matter.
In an interview about CNBC's Squawk Box Bastian took the opportunity with his dead-eyed wooden smile to use the controversy to support Delta as your best friendly airline.
“We haven't reduced our parking space in our aircraft for years. We're going the other way, ”said Bastian. The pitch refers to the distance from one seat back to the next. Though he pegged Delta as the great protector of legroom, Bastian was pretty caged when the hosts of the Squawk Box pinpointed him for an answer where he was in the big sit-back debate.
Bastian did exactly what you would expect from a CEO: protection. "I never sit back," said Bastian, "because I don't think it's something I should do as CEO, and I never say anything when someone leans back in me." To be fair, Bastian said in several interviews that he flies buses a lot – but not for the really long flights, which feel like dying. I remember exactly the last time I flew Delta on a flight from Tokyo to Atlanta. After about 12 hours, at the oversized height of 5 feet 3, I was about to saw off my own legs.
He went on to clarify that although he personally does not sit back, passengers definitely have the right to do so. "The right thing is, if you sit back in someone, ask first if it's okay." The real kicker? Bastian noted that Delta is currently experimenting with a more limited seat tilt.
The real bad guy in all of this is late-stage capitalism. Even though Bastian calls himself a "good CEO," Delta and other airlines are still trying to find ways to maximize profits – possibly at the expense of passenger comfort. Meanwhile, first-class seats are becoming fancier, while the trainer feels like a flying sardine. There is no real solution to this, other than hoping that these Jagoffs will finally treat us plebs like humans instead of chatting. But in the meantime try not to be a total tail when lying down .