Airlines Tighten the Screws. We’re the Screwees.

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse, that the inconvenience and the discomfort have leveled off, at least a few of the airlines are considering still more ways to make us dread flying.

This is of particular concern to those of us who live in Hawaii; unless we’re on an inter-island hop, it’s a minimum of five hours aloft to LA or San Francisco, eleven-plus to the East Coast, eight to Japan, ten to Sydney … well, you get the picture.

So how would you like to spend a couple of hours straddling this: It’s called the Skyrider and it’s designed for low-cost airlines – duh! – with mostly short-haul flights.

Sounds perfect for Spirit Airlines. These are the folks who have begun installing non-reclining seats on their planes. I know, I know … it’s a pain when the guy in front of you tips his seat all the way back and you find yourself staring down on his bald pate. But not being able to tinker with the recline button in an effort to find the most comfortable position is a distressing, almost panicky thought.

When asked about these new seats, a Spirit spokesperson noted that they are made of lightweight materials which will save on fuel which, she says, means your actually helping the environment. How? By not being able to recline your seat?? How’s that for putting lipstick on a pig!

Oh … and there are also reports in trade publications that Spirit will soon begin charging you for stuffing a bag in the overhead bins.

Seriously now … do you still wonder why I fly to the West Coast and take Amtrak to wherever I’m going from there?

(All the above notwithstanding, I still think Hawaiian Airlines is a great airline and the best way to visit these islands. In fact, I’ll be returning to Hawaii from Asia in August on Hawaiian’s new service between Honolulu and Seoul.)