The skies are friendly; the passengers are not

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Tue, 2008/11/25 - 23:02 by aargh

Color me vindicated. (VindicAAted, perhaps?)

A while back, I ranted that the airlines' (then-)new fees for checked baggage were a bunch of hogwash.

In this week's The Middle Seat column, Scott McCartney does some digging on that topic. In short, the airlines are screwing you. (No news there.) Given that fuel prices have returned to reality, they're really screwing you. (Still not a shocker.)

What's even more interesting is the airlines' justification for maintaining the fees as a means to pad their pocketbooks. I'm all for capitalism and profits, mind you; just not when people are so namby-pamby in going about it. As passengers are already accustomed to getting stiffed by air fares, why not raise ticket prices $15 here and there? You'd make more money and there wouldn't be nearly so much publicity and sleuthing involved. When the reporters come 'round asking you to justify the numbers, you simply respond, "duh, because profits rule!" and that's the end of it.

McCartney continues to explain that the airlines see this as another chapter in their new book of "a la carte pricing," which any Francophone will tell you translates to "nickel and diming." Again, in the spirit of desperate capitalism, fair enough. But if that's the case I want to see a flat fee for the seat and a breakdown for everything I use. "Seatbelt." "Speak with flight attendant." "Overhead light."

Eventually the bastards will charge for using the loo. I guarantee, when that day comes, food will be free again. And it'll be all salads and prunes.

"What It Costs An Airline to Fly Your Luggage"