Random Thoughts

By Bob Nesoff

New York Lifestyles Magazine focuses heavily on travel because so many of our readers are often on the road for business and pleasure. While we have an upscale audience, no one likes to spend any more than is absolutely necessary. That’s not cheap, that’s appropriate.

Some interesting items that could severely affect airline travel have made news in recent weeks. Well, saying “made news” might be an overstatement. If you looked closely while watching television you might have caught a glimpse of one of the stories. If you read a newspaper (and many people still do) articles were more than likely buried under some innocuous event.

Here’s the scoop. Some of the major airlines, not content with charging Robber Baron fees for luggage (some even charge for carry-on-such as Spirit(less) airlines), others have been kind enough to permit free carry-on. Perhaps not for that much longer.

But a fee for carry-on pales in comparison to the latest airline scheme. Some are considering reducing the size of permitted carry-on luggage. They say it’s to load and unload aircraft faster. The last person who believed that put down a bid on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The only entities this will benefit will be the luggage manufacturers and the airlines themselves. Passengers will need to purchase new bags or face hefty fees for stowing luggage. The benevolence expressed by the airlines has gone over our heads.

The second, and more insidious scheme, has only cropped up a few weeks ago. Anyone who has flown Southwest Airlines knows what it is to sit facing other passengers, knees intertwined while making a furious attempt to avoid a molestation charge while trying to be more comfortable.

It seems that some airlines are floating the idea of staggering seats in cattle class (Oops. Make that “Coach”) contending it will permit greater seating capacity. Anyone remember the bad old days when subway cars would reverse some seats at the end of the run before heading back? Aisle and window seats would face forward while middle seats would be rear-facing.

There must be a department in the airlines of “Absurd Ideas to Make More Money While Discomfiting Passengers.” You can always write to newspapers and magazines (including NYLM) decrying these plots. Drop a note to bobn@newyorklifestylesmagazine.com. We’ll not only print the letters, but will make sure they are forwarded.

There’s an interesting battle going on between two of the most powerful political egos in New York and the real losers here will be residents of New York City.

In the military commanders have always been taught never to go into a skirmish unless they have both the high ground and the ammunition to wage a successful battle. Bill DeBlasio should take a history lesson.

He recently opened up on Andy Cuomo with a broadside and virtually did everything but question the Governor’s legitimate birth. He accused Andy of being vindictive, not giving The City its due and a number of other charges.

The sad part is that DeBlasio is right. And he is especially right about Andy being vindictive. The core group that will suffer from DeBlasio’s tirade will not only be The Mayor, but the people he was elected to represent.

Cuomo is positioning himself for a future presidential run and he isn’t going to let a blustery DeBlasio derail that effort. There will be retaliation, but it will be subtle and very painful. While New Jersey’s Chris Christie is a boor and a blowhard, Cuomo is subtle and smooth.

Until one or the other leaves office it might be best not to be standing next to Bill DeBlasio in a lightening storm.