It had been a while since I last flew Frontier --the airline with the cute furry anthropomorphic talking mammals on their tails. There have been changes -- all of them for the worse. There's now an extra charge for each piece of luggage. Those free meals are a thing of the remote past. So are the days when you would get the entire can of ginger ale or tomato juice. It's now a splash of juice in a cup of ice. No free TV -- you swipe your card, they swipe your cash. The seats are smaller, too. More rows, less leg room. Wasn't there a time when air travel was glamorous? Now it's just a big Greyhound in the sky, a warehouse on wings.
Not only was my seat compressed, but the back didn't recline. Somehow I had been assigned a seat that backed onto the emergency exit row. In earlier planes, such seats used to recline, but I'm guessing that Frontier has gained a few inches by rendering the backs immobile -- at the cost of my comfort (but not at reduced cost).
Adding to the insult is an unapologetic sign on the back of the seat in front of me inscribed with the words NO RECLINE THIS ROW. I wonder what language the author of this sign thinks he is using. Not English, that's for sure. "No recline this row" does not even come close to parsing. What would it have cost Frontier to affix a sign that read "the seats in this row do not recline." Where do they outsource their signs -- to the writers of 1940s cowboy and faux-Indian movies? No recline this row! Come on, frontiersmen; you can do better than that. If you have no respect for me, at least have a little respect for the language. The talking animals speak better English.
To the chief of sign-makers at Frontier I say, "No hire this job."
There was another sign for me to stare out while I sat there, miserably cramped, watching the clock. "LIFE VEST UNDER YOUR SEAT." Isn't Frontier banging the frugality drum a little too hard? The sentence might have read, "Life vest IS under your seat." How much could a trifling copulative verb cost? If Frontier wanted to be truly prodigal, it could even have raised the cash to provide an indefinite article: "A life vest is under your seat." Wow. A complete sentence!. What a concept!
(Orignally posted 2011: 2013 update: no free beverage at all nowadays; the cart is only for paying customers. I didn't bother to ask how much for the plastic cup of water. My prediction: next time, there will be a charge to use the bathroom.)