Tag Archives: PR

Charging Plane Passengers Based On Size?—A PR Nightmare

12 Feb

Many of us who have traveled on flight have probably seen or experienced firsthand an awkward or unsavory airline situation at least once. Whether it’s the little boy behind you yelling because he’s not allowed his Nintendo below several thousand feet, or your neighbor who waits just until you hit REM sleep to ask for you let them through to use the restroom.

Having travelled internationally several times, I’ve been on some pretty long and occasionally uncomfortable flights in my life; some lasting 8, 10 and even 12 hours. My personal worst even though it was only 5 hrs was my experience being sandwiched between two strangers with the gentlemen on my right snoring/tilting his head on my shoulder while he napped and the other losing the battle with his deodorant. To add to the mix that both were of a “heavyset” build, this contributed to me losing the use of my armrests. So all things considered let’s just say I was never more happy to land than ever before.

But how would you handle it if for a 6 hr flight the passenger next to you took up 2/3 of your seat resulting in body to body contact for the duration of the flight? This is what Los Angeles’ Marsha St. Claire states happened during her flight in an article I read a while back in The Seattle Times titled “Dealing with overweight airline passengers.” A similar situation was reported by CNN last fall, A Travel Nightmare: Man Stands Throughout 7-Hr Flight in which case a man stood nearly his entire US Airways flight. If placed in a similar situation, is there a tactful (I use the term loosely) way for yourself and/or the airlines to handle it? I would personally hate to be the flight attendant who has to address the situation or be the PR person for the airlines—as the action of charging customers for seating according to their body size can never be handled gracefully. Just as interesting as the article comments was the author’s proposal on possible solutions, for example more thoughtful innovative plane designs that would consider the comfort of all passenger sizes.

“Each plane could have, say, one or two rows with two-by-two seating instead of the usual three-by-three configuration. Obese passengers could be pre-assigned these seats, either for the usual economy fare, or perhaps by paying a small premium. These seats wouldn’t enjoy any other special services or extra legroom, just extra width.”

While some airline companies already charge customers who will inhabit more than one seat, this new seat design idea is the most tactful and logical solution that would be a win-win-win (for the passenger, the airlines–who will get more $, and the neighbors who will get their full rightfully paid seat.

Pretending you are the CEO of an airline company, how would you handle the situation?


Catching Up With Me!

22 Jan

Hello All!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything, so let me fill you in on what I’ve been doing lately!

2012 has already been off to a very busy start for me; working 2 part time jobs, doing freelance PR work, and attending events as part of the UW Department of Communication & Communication Alumni Board’s (of which Edgar Gonzalez is president) Professional Development Month (#UWPDM). To tell you a little about the latter, PDM is a month-long series of events hosted by the department that are geared around helping students and recent alumni prepare for and excel at communications-related careers. Themes are centered around topics such as interviewing techniques, networking tips, improving your digital media literacy, speed pitching, advice on starting your own business, etc.

As a recent alum trying to break into the professional workforce, these events have been immensely helpful in making meaningful connections/networking with communications faculty, peers, and professionals. Some of the professionals/mentors I’ve met so far include Art Thiel (sports journalist and cofounder of Sportspress NW), Candice Douglas (Director of Marketing and Communications for the UW’s College of Arts & Sciences), Elise Daniel (Head of UW Marketing) and Priya Frank (Individual Giving Coordinator for the UW World Series).

A fellow peer Krista Staudinger who writes for the UW News Lab (and ironically shares my first name) recently did a well written article about the kick off of the PDM events. You can find me in the background of the related photo and Krista also mentions me in her story —> Professional Development Month Kicks Off

There I am in the background, they happened to capture me at the refreshment table! =p

This past week’s snowstorm has unfortunately put a hold to some of the PDM events, forcing them to be cancelled or rescheduled. The show is back on for week 3, with many workshops I am excited for! The first is 1/23’s “International Opportunities” workshop about working/living abroad. Some others I plan to attend include (but not limited to):

  •  “How Media Work” —led by Lucas Mack (4th Ave Media) on presenting professional media projects
  • “How to Become a More Powerful Speaker” —led by Mary Anne Dorward (CEO My Real Voice)
  •  Mentor Lunch—with Stacey Engle the Director of Marketing (Fierce Inc.)


  • “Meet the Movers and Shakers in PR” —when I saw this one, it was a given that I would attend!

To learn more about the events and/or the professionals leading them, visit the UW Com Website