It hit me like an atomic bomb last week as I boarded a morning flight from Boston to Phoenix on America West Airlines. Here is a basic series of truths: Modern business is largely about air travel. Modern air travel is largely torture. Therefore, much of modern business is torture.
I was sitting in my incredibly cramped seat in the incredibly cramped, tiny first-class cabin and I got up to use the lavatory. As I did, I looked back in coach in what I think was a Boeing 757, a long, wide single-aisle plane with three-and-three coach seating that seemingly went back forever. The passengers were galley slaves on a Roman trireme, chained to their seats in the hold. They were lashed to their pagers, their BlackBerries, their cellphones, lashed to their employers and their duties to keep rowing for the empire until they died at their posts.
The solution for those who wish to travel in a modicum of comfort? You must have your own private jet. You really must.
Speaking of which, I'll be flying to Japan tomorrow for the start of a somewhat extended trip -- coach, barring unforseen good luck. I'm not sure how much, or whether, I'll be able to blog while away; if not, look for new entries the last week of July.