In reply to a letter of Aug. 9 from Walt Jellum: I sympathize with Walt and would very willingly give up my seat to him if asked.
Unlike Walt's 6-foot-6-inch frame, I am only 5 feet, 10 inches, yet I can't even get my briefcase from under my seat without standing up anymore. I can only imagine what someone 6 feet, 6 inches is experiencing.
There is a little trick that I use to keep my sense of humor when flying. I think of the hell that it must have been to travel to that destination in the 1800s. Think of a trip from coast to coast by covered wagon, complete with Indian battles, bandits, dirt, intense heat and intense cold for three months. No meal service or clean bathrooms. Then when trains came along, it cut the trip to only two weeks.
Some discomfort on an eight- or 12-hour flight seems a bit trivial in comparison. I would agree, however, that the airlines could and should accommodate taller customers with special requests of exit seats first. Nobody loses, and they can make a happy customer without costing any profits from the airline. A win-win situation.
In response to Walt Jellum's letter of Aug. 9: We can sympathize with Mr. Jellum's dilemma. We are a family of tall people and don't enjoy plane travel anymore. Even the better seats are torture on long backs.
Our solution is to travel by other means--the pain of plane travel just isn't worth it.