It’s difficult to believe that Ann Coulter, the woman who once said, “Any growing interest in soccer can only be a sign of the nation’s moral decay,” or “I think the government should be spying on all Arabs, engaging in torture as a televised spectator sport, dropping daisy cutters wantonly throughout the Middle East, and sending liberals to Guantanamo,” could say anything more outrageous. But she did.
According to the Coulter method of airline seat selection, it cost her $10,000 to sit in the economy section on Delta Airlines. Huh?
In her weekend tweeting tirade against Delta, the conservative commentator let loose a long string of complaints against the airline after it had the nerve to ask her to change seats on her Saturday flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York to West Palm Beach, Fla. Coulter wanted the world to know that Delta “inadvertently moved” the wrong passenger.
The Airline Quality Rating, the most comprehensive study of performance and quality of the largest airlines in the United States, ranked Delta as the number two airline this year. But in her Twitter thunderstorm, Coulter seems to have conducted her own thorough research. According to the Coulter Airline Quality Rating, Delta is ‘‘the worst airline in America.” Clearly Coulter has never flown Spirit Airlines.
Coulter was moved from her extra-space seat on Delta to a non-extra-space seat. In her fiery screed, she said she was told her seat was needed for an emergency. She paid $30 above and beyond her fare for that extra-space seat. According to Delta, those seats provide up to three inches of extra space.
Delta, which we now know is the worst airline in America, responded to Coulter’s tweets in a civilized and polite manner. Despite the fact that she had insulted pretty much anyone she could on the flight, Delta offered to refund the $30.
“$30!,” she tweeted back to Delta. “It cost me $10,000 of my time to pre-select the seat I wanted, investigate type of plane & go back periodically to review seat options.”
This is where the absurdity truly begins.
First, $10,000 of my time? Perhaps she was saving the world from those morally bankrupt soccer players?
Second, when I book an extra-space seat, it takes me about a minute to make the decision. I click “yes” and pick my seat. This process takes me three minutes in total. I’m usually pretty efficient about picking the seat, so no need to go back and check. The number of extra-space seats is generally pretty limited, so I usually don’t feel compelled to review my seat option multiple times.
As a travel writer and someone who spends a lot of time in airplanes, I have a bit of valuable, money-saving advice for Coulter: If you’re going to spend $10,000 worth of your precious time buying a seat on an airplane, fly first class. For $10,000, you can probably buy yourself a couple of seats. That way, if you get bumped, you’ll have another seat at the ready.
Also, Coulter has previously complained about Delta, once tweeting, “If the only way you can get someplace is on Delta, don’t go.” Here’s another valuable tip: If you don’t like an airline, don’t fly it. Always put your money where your mouth is.
Now that we know the value of Coulter’s time, she can save herself boatloads of cash by avoiding Delta and cutting back the Twitter brawls. Also, the next time she flies, she should be sure to call the airline first to make sure she’s not seated in the same row as the nefarious, morally decaying David Beckham.Christopher Muther can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Muther