Monday, April 19, 2010

New Airline Fees

After airlines started charging for checked baggage, it was only a matter of time before they started charging for carry-on bags. Granted, only a small carrier (Spirit Airlines) is doing this right now, as all the other major airlines have said that they won't, but considering that those "biggies" are perennial money losers it's only a matter of time before they all realize they can trim costs this way.

Of course, consumers are up in arms, and even New York's Senator Chuck "I'm Still Smarting From Those High School Wedgies" Schumer is getting in on the act by calling for hearings. (Why Congress should micromanage this is beyond me--when they're not bailing out some private company they're restricting its ability to make up for its budget shortfall. Congress is made up of truly, truly stupid people. Someone please exile them somewhere.) The complaining consumers are probably the same jerks who carry-on bags big enough to fit a dead body and always wait until the last second to take the bag out of the compartment so they hold up the line getting out of the plane. These people suck and if I had my way they'd be riding in the storage compartments themselves because they are classless mouth-breathers.

I actually think this fee idea is fine, since it just takes a fee that's built into the ticket price and makes it more of an "a la carte" option. This is sort of like when they stopped providing free meals and let you buy snacks on the plane. Of course, the difference here is that virtually everyone will have to pay the fee one way or another--a checked bag fee or a carry-on fee--since almost nobody travels without some sort of baggage. And it doesn't really stop someone from bringing extra carry-ons, since passengers are already limited in what they can carry anyhow. Perhaps if checked baggage and anything you can fit under the seat in front of you is made free, this would discourage heavy carryons, making unloading a plane much quicker (not to mention shorter security lines). But there are also a lot of other things I would change first:

1) If you get "randomly" picked for a security screening at the checkpoint, they agree to call to hold your plane until five minutes after you're checked through so you don't miss it. And they have to give you say $20 for your trouble. Mind you, this shouldn't count if you weren't "randomly" picked--in other words, if you thought bringing your samurai sword on the plane was a good idea, then you created your own mess, idiot.

2) If you're really fat or tall? Sucks. Let the uncomfortable ride teach you a thing about losing weight....and shortening yourself? Okay, this needs more thought. But you shouldn't be able to spill into another seat on a full plane.

3) If you have a screaming kid on the plane? You pay an extra charge of $10 for each passenger sitting within a 10 foot radius of you. Hint--it's cheaper if you are in the last row and window seat! Note, you do not have to pay any passenger with a screaming baby of their own.

4) If the captain makes a bad joke on the intercom he has to provide free booze for everyone on the plane.

5) If you're one of those geniuses who gets to the security line and hasnt' figured out that yes, you do have to take your shoes, belt and keys and put them in the conveyor belt, then you have to go immediately to the back of the line.


  1. "I actually think this fee idea is fine, since it just takes a fee that's built into the ticket price and makes it more of an "a la carte" option."

    That implies that there will be a reduction in fee for those who opt not to do carry-on. Nay, nay.

    Ooo, I like #3.

    And number #4, the airlines would go bankrupt.

  2. Lacochran--I could be wrong but I thought when Spirit did this it lowered its across the board ticket prices by more than the baggage fee--if they do that, it would in effect drop prices for those who don't bring bags. (Of course, everyone has to bring or check at least one bag, so the only people who won't get the fee are people who can wear all their clothes on their bodies at one time.)

  3. The bad joke thing. Can that be doubled to two rounds of free booze if it's during the pivotal moment of the in-flight movie? I swear, it's like THEY KNOW.

  4. Believe it or not, it's almost cheeper now, if you're going somewhere for more than a couple of days, to ship your stuff there via UPS or USPS.

    Also, I totally call bullshit on Spirt and any other airline thinking about a carry-on fee. It is nigh on impossible to get on a plane without some type of carry-on, therefore it's not a voluntary fee. Example: I will never, ever check my camera. There's no way that bag is going under the plane. That space for a roller bag in the overhead is part of my seat, I shouldn't have to pay extra for it. Congress can regulate this by making the airlines everyone of these bags, and then taxing them, oh, 10 percent more than they're charging.

    Flying's enough of a pain in the ass already. I refuse to pay another cent to get bent over by them and then shoved in a too-small seat.

  5. Lilu--oh how that drives me nuts! It's like Darth Vader is all "Luke, I AM your ... FOLKS, IF YOU LOOK TO THE LEFT OF THE PLANE YOU'LL SEE TEXAS, BE SURE NOT TO MESS WITH IT, HAR HAR". Extra penalty!

    Foggy--yeah, perhaps making the one bag free would be more fair since everyone has to pay it anyway (unless you have pants and coat with MASSIVE pockets.).

  6. That'll be the next big fashion trend - The Carry-On Coat. It'll have giant pockets and a pouch in the back to carry all your crap. What're the airlines going to do? Start charging to wear clothes onboard? Oh, and I call that idea, at least a trademark on the name. We can split the profits on everything else.