Last week a man on board a United Airlines flight sat in his coach seat and pulled out a full-sized iMac to work. A standard United coach seat has just 30 inches of pitch – the distance from seat back to seat back – making this impossible most of the time.
This passenger had planned ahead, though, because he had an exit row seat. And he wasn’t even being impolite to a seat mate, because the middle seat next to him was empty. Remember this isn’t a laptop. He was lucky there was seat power on the aircraft!
It's a little hard to get the full sense of scale in the original photo, but for comparison, this is my work laptop next to this dude's rig pic.twitter.com/ayzW6AkXim
— Todd Master (@MasterActual) July 15, 2022
Last summer a passenger pulled out a sewing machine and proceeded to make curtains from their seat. That’s still the biggest power move I’ve seen on a plane.
Thirty yeas ago I was just entering college. Since I was new on the then-national champion CEDA debate team, I was charged with carrying the team Mac on board flights as my carry on. Freshmen used to have to take turns sleeping at tournaments, so that someone was always working before the next day’s rounds. Another team might surprise us with a new take on the topic once but unlike the rest of the country we weren’t going to wait until the next weekend to be prepared.
The one thing we couldn’t do, though, was work on the plane. There was no suitable seat power back then, and we didn’t have laptops. I assumed the days of lugging around a full-sized computer – in coach, no less – were long gone. I was mistaken.