You are looking at posts that were written in the month of June in the year 2008.
Now. I’m an avid flyer. I love it. I love travel. I want to be a pilot. And amidst all the clamor of rising fuel prices, I’ve kept mum. I’m happy petrol prices are rising; I hope it spurs change, since nothing but the bottom line seems to be able to motivate the majority of humanity.
But I’m gonna take a moment right now just to vent about the creative ways that airlines are looking to make their business profitable. You’ve heard about American setting the standard by charging for checked bags. Within weeks everyone else jumped on the bandwagon, and that one’s easy: I travel light. I never check bags. It got a little tougher after the Theater Security Administration banned liquids and gels, but it’s just another bump in the turbulence, right?
Well we’re headed up to Chattanooga in a couple weeks to meet my new nephew (due any day now!) and I got the good word from Dad that I should check out Allegiant Air for direct flights from Orlando. All well and good, right? Yeah…
It’s nice that the internet has forced (or allowed, depending on your perspective) airlines to show you the price of each leg of your journey, so you can adjust departure and arrival dates in search of the lowest fare. But the fees are starting to get ridiculous. You think to yourself…each leg for under $100, that’s not bad at all! Then you’re reminded…oh yeah…taxes and fees. It would be one thing if it were on the order of sales tax, somewhere under ten percent. But twenty-seven percent of the base price?! Isn’t that higher that credit card interest rates?
Ok, where do we begin? Federal taxes of $23? That should cover the FAA and ATC and the TSA and any other TLA, right? Wrong. They’re STILL charging a “September 11th fee.” Just to keep the fear in us, I suppose. Segment fees? PFC? Miscellaneous? Forget what those are even supposed mean? Miscellaneous? Seriously, guys? You might as well say, “we added this on so we could advertise a lower fare.”
Still, all this I was already grudgingly aware of. What gets me is what comes next. Just like signing up for websites means that the little box for “please send me spam” is already checked, Allegiant pre-selects all its fees for you. Oh! How convenient! You’re going to charge me $15 to reserve EACH seat? There and back? It took me a full minute to figure out how to decline seat reservations. Surely that’s it. But wait, there’s more!
These are small regional jets, so the carryons are limited to 8 by 16 by 19 inches. Good thing I bought my suitcase in Lilliput. Even if I wanted to check a bag? $20 apiece. Just to start. And that’s when you tell them in advance! It’s even more if you show up at the counter with grandma’s heirloom wardrobe in tow.
Click through to the next screen. Surely I can input my credit card info now. Oh wait, what’s this? A rescheduling fee? You want me to pay you sixty bucks just so I can have the OPTION of changing my flights? You must be joking. Southwest does that for free. Quick, where’s the deselect button? Better yet, where’s another airline?
Add this to the fact that many airlines are now charging piecemeal for every single consumable on board, coupled with the TSA’s diligent prohibition of food and drinks from home and the airport’s oh-so-reasonable prices (did I mention how convenient it is to the airport’s quarterly projections that you’re forced to buy food there?), and you have a perfect storm of passenger discontent.
Still, I guess it beats driving.
Posted on June 12th, 2008 by george.
flat calm sea
sails gone slack
on an endless tack
alone and numb
dead to rights
gyre and gimbal
slicked with crude
no horse survives
feels very still
cut the tether
fit the bill
long on sorrow
short on time
on the surface
face turns blue
all time low