Thursday, March 10, 2011

Guess what! The airlines are going to charge more fees for anything you can think of. Soon travel will be totally by the classes of the Titanic age where the upper decks of the boat were 1st class and the lower decks brought their own sandwiches. After checked bags, airlines want to charge for early boarding, fancier foods and reclining seats. They say it is because carriers are trying to offset rising fuel costs and is their way to generate revenue such as $25 champagne brunches and insurance services.
Why can’t they at least offer something I need or that can better my life? Offering me more expensive liquor will only get me plastered faster. I really need to leave that plane inebriated. NO! Try offering motivation courses or teach me how to make repairs. Something informative please. The airlines are just digging around for ways to pile on more fees. In recent years airlines from American Airlines to Spirit Airlines found new ways to boost profits and annoy fliers by charging fees for checked bags, selecting a choice seat or other services once included in ticket prices.
The worst ploy that separates the classes in society is the racket theme parks provide. For a price you can be ahead of any line for speedy security or early boarding. How about going with a hot chic and get into the best social club or disco and bypassing the lines just for being handsome or beautiful? Put me in 1st class. Airlines started charging for checked bags, snacks, pillows and other items in a big way in 2008. Last year, such fees brought in an estimated $22 billion, or 5% of global industry revenue.
Some marketers want to take the fee business a step further and have you strapped not just in a airline seat but into a virtual shopping mall offering captive travelers a variety of buy-while-they-fly items such as theater tickets or personal items. Great! Strap a shop-a-holic in a seat and let them go wild. Put a casino on my screen and make sure I spend every dime I own while I am being tortured on your flight sitting on the tarmac for hours and hours. Yeah Distract me!!
Spirit Airlines, a low fare carrier, led the way in fees by charging for everything but lavatory access. 27% of Spirit Airlines revenues are acquired through fees. Last summer it began charging between $20 and $30 for a second carry-on bag. Spirit also charges between $10 and $18 for advanced seat assignments. Give me a break!! Not only do I have to shop for cheap airfares but I seriously have to compare what I am getting included in the airfare price if anything. JetBlue wants $6 for a in-flight movie, Delta wants $5 to $13 for Wifi, American wants $50 a day for its Admirals Club and Southwest wants $10 for early access to seats so I can sit first during flight delays!! Lets go Communist at least under that system there is one price for all gas and for pretty much anything else.
Big carriers already have discovered passengers will pay for better seats in coach. Delta Air Lines recently said it will remove seats from its international planes by summer to create an “Economy Comfort” zone that offers up to four inches more leg room and 50% more recline than regular coach seats. Seating there will cost an extra $80 to $160 each way. I think I’ll open a bottle of champagne, have brunch, stretch out on my chair and STAY HOME and watch the travel channel.

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