every day we are besieged with advertisements for low air fares to all parts of
the world. We get it in the newspapers, on the television, internet and even our
cell phones. All of these costly produced commercials exclaim to us that we can
fly coast to coast for as little as $49.95 or $69.50 or some such ridiculous price.
What they fail to tell you is the little extra fees that you will have to pay
to achieve these prices.
wife and I just got back from a trip to the west coast. I signed up for a low
fare and that was all there had been to it, I wouldn’t be writing this today.
This airline doesn’t charge for a piece of checked baggage, I’ll get to this later.
While their fare prices were a bargain, I noticed that the government tacked on
nearly $30 for fees, security and other costs. I suppose someone has to pay for
all of those security guys at each airport. Before long they will charge a ‘terminal
entrance’ cost just to walk in the door. Look for it.
far as I’m concerned they should charge for big bags that don’t fit in the overhead
bins. I’m always afraid some of the passengers are going to punch a hole in the
side of the plane just trying to get that little sucker in the bin and then close
the door. My attitude is that if they can’t lift the bag by themselves, they shouldn’t
try to put it over the top of my head.
morning a couple of airlines announced a new program to charge each passenger
$8.00 for a pillow and a blanket. One of their spokesmen stated that they felt
it was a good deal since each passenger would be able to take this ‘souvenir’
home with them. I’ve never considered an airline blanket and pillow to be anywhere
close to a ‘souvenir’ for any trip I’ve ever made in my life, but I suppose they
had to spin their story one way or another. I’m certain it won’t be long before
there are airline ‘souvenir’ collector groups showing up and ‘blanket and pillow’
conventions around the country. If they make it, you can bet someone will save
a devious mind, I can only think that it will just be a matter of time until we
start to see other charges imposed on us by the airlines in addition to the airfare
and costs to check a piece of baggage. We know they charge for some drinks and
certainly any alcoholic beverages. Soon, if you want a cold drink or ice in your
cup…well, that’ll cost a little more. Some airlines still give away peanuts, but
others are talking about charging for any type of snacks. Certainly not a big
money maker here since the food is worse than anything you can get at a hospital.
Maybe that’s where they get it from the stuff that they can’t sell at hospitals.
How long before we can expect to be charged for a seat belt or a ‘reclining chair’
fee? It already costs more (premium) for seats for bulkhead as well as exit rows
where you have more legroom. I heard one airline was trying to sell ‘standing
room’ tickets, but I suppose that thought never got off the ground. (Pun intended)
You want music? You’ll need a set of earphones, those will cost extra. You want
to watch television, be prepared to pay up front or sit quietly in your seat for
the entire flight. How long will it be before they charge for water if you want
some? Airline magazine? They’ll continue to give those away since no one reads
them anyway. Got trash? They can get you for a ‘recycling’ fee, the same as the
tire stores do when you buy some new tires for your car.
Now you know
if these guys were really smart, they would stop all of these trivial charges
and use my idea. I’d give away all the beer, peanuts and pretzels that a passenger
could drink. Then I’d have pay toilets. I mean where else can you go? It isn’t
like you have any options.
Ka-ching----those airline stewardesses or stewards
or whatever you call them would have to have coin changers on their belts. Don’t
worry if you don’t have cash…I’m sure they’ll take Visa.
Letters From North America
10, 2010 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
Comments go to firstname.lastname@example.org