Thursday, August 07, 2008

What's Next? They Going to Charge for Oxygen?

The airlines are now going to ridiculous lengths to add on additional fees for services. They would piss off fewer people if they just raised all ticket prices by $15, but they just love to have their customers hate them. Here is a partial list of what is now being charged by airlines:

  • Checking Luggage - Most of the airlines, with the notable exception of Southwest, are now charging for checked bags. Now you can pay for the privilege of having them lose your luggage.

  • Pillows and Blankets - Jet Blue now charges for taking a nap. A lot of other airlines simply don't provide them any more.

  • Food and Snacks - Nickle and diming started with food. It wasn't enough that it was crappy, now you had to pay for it. Most of the airlines now charge for food on anything less than 5 hours or so.

  • Booking Fees - The airlines used to charge you a booking fee if you used a real agent, but didn't charge anything if you used the internet. The logic here was that using a real person uses real resources requiring real money. Okay, I maybe get that. But now American is charging a fee for booking on-line. So they charge you no matter how you buy a ticket. Why not just raise the ticket price, guys?

  • Water - Yes WATER is now a $2 charge on US Airways. American started charging for coffee and OJ on morning flights last year, but I don't think that stuck.

As if that wasn't enough, they're adding more frequent flier charges and limitations. So if you put up with airline BS and accumulate miles your point value is now converging on worthless. Limited seating, additional miles for tickets, and now up to a $100 "fuel surcharge" on mileage tickets (so not exactly "free" any more, are they?). In the latest outrage US Air has stopped offering bonus miles to frequent fliers. Why would anyone fly them at all any more?

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