Flyway Robbery

Travelling back to NYC yesterday from two weeks of R&R, my mind turned back to my first post-vacation post. As I sat aboard AA flight 2 to JFK it occured to me that I had missed one huge business opportunity for the government in my recent post about saving the economy by buying businesses that are fleecing us every day: the airlines.

Every time I fly (which sadly is frequently) I see they have discovered another way to stiff us poor travelers for another buck.

First it was food disappearing and then coming back, for a fee. Now, even on transcontinental slogs of over 5 hrs, if you want some grub you better bring some green. Actually don’t do that. It’s credit card only these days – apparently handling the cash got to be annoying to the crumudgeonly old flight attendants. So here is an idea, airlines… Give us the food for free if you can’t be stuffed changing all those twenties.

Then it was headsets. If you want to listen to our free on board entertainment, we’ll need you to cough up 2 bucks. The 800 dollar fare didn’t cover our headset cost you see. But good news! You can bring it back again next time – if the 10 cent shitty headphones we give you even last the length of the flight that is.

And now there is this “premium economy” seating bullshit. Pay $59 and we will give you the amount of legroom you used to get for free. Or else sit in the new standard economy seats where you have to chew on your own knees (at least it saves you the $10 for a sandwich.)

And you can even pay for expedited security and earlier boarding. It used to be that frequent flyer members would get these perks like an exit row seat and earlier boarding, but nowadays you have to have attained SuperTerrificTripleOpalPlatinum status before you get anything without paying for it.

There seems to be nothing the airlines won’t charge more for. Over in the UK, Ryanair is seriously considering a one pound fee for going to the toilet on board, only Boeing has not figured out how to install a payment device on the doors yet. I wish I was kidding!!

What next? I half expect to find only an upturned bucket in space 34D next time I fly with a note saying I can buy a cushion for $10 and a seatback for $20 if I so wish. Oxygen masks and life vests will now be part of the optional “emergency package” available for $32 – or $40 if you also want a token for a space on the emergency raft (not refundable in the case of a regular landing). Flight attendant service is now $25, or $75 if you want them to be either attractive or courteous ($90 special deal for both).

Actually, I think I had better stop writing right now – anyone from the airlines could be reading this and getting ideas. So if you find yourself sitting on a bucket next time you fly… I’m sorry!

— Irish


One Response to “Flyway Robbery”

  1. kingdom solace Says:

    Okay, check this out. We recently booked and paid for a RV online for a five day roadtrip. After several emails it was understood that we had a final amount for the hirage, full insurance, and all other sundry charges. Paid online with the trusty never, never card and ticked it off the list as done. Six weeks later we arrived at the pickup point and during the completing of all the appropriate paperwork we are told that we need to pay the one off charge of $50 to complete out full cover insurance. “Hold on” I say, “Have we not prepaid for full insurance?”. “Oh yes” came the reply with a lovely smile, “but that only covers the sides and the interior. If you want to insure the top, bottom and windscreen that will cost another $50.” Now working on that logic this raises some interesting senarios. “Yes the full price of the stereo is $200 but if you want the power cord that will cost you another $80.” or “Yes the full price of the car is $5000 but if you want the wheels it will cost another $2000.” What is it with the travel and tourism industries? They seem to have a licence to charge incredible amounts for unbelievable things. A classic Simpsons episode comes to mind, “The um…not wearing puffy pants tax.”

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