By the way, there’s an extra charge for reading this!

This site has commented before on the various extra charges and fees imposed by US airlines — a trend that seems to be becoming even more noticeable. One of the latest tactics is to charge for checking an extra bag, or even to check any bag. American Airlines became the first major US airline to begin charging a fee for a checked bag ($15) closely followed by United and US Airways. This will surely have the effect of making people take even larger and more unwieldy carry on bags.

If you fly, you may not get a meal, although you can usually be assured of at least a free drink — now even that is changing. US Airways recently announced that they are going to start charging for drinks in the main cabin — meaning non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee and soda. The charges for non-alcoholic drinks will apparently be $2. US Airways is also going to begin charging to redeem frequent flyer miles. Many airlines charge a fee to redeem miles within a certain timeframe, (for example, three weeks) but this fee is regardless of the timeframe.

Pre-reserved seats are not exempt – Spirit Airlines is already charging for pre-reserving a better seat – $15 for a highly coveted exit row seat, $10 for window and aisle seats, and $5 for a middle seat (Why anyone would pay to reserve a middle seat is puzzling — if you don’t pay, you are probably going to end up with a middle seat anyway!)

And we are all used to having our bags weighed, but what about having ourselves weighed when we check in? Apparently, some airlines are considering a plan to add on extra charges based on the weight of the passenger. (If nothing else, this policy would be a great incentive to lose weight!)

And if you have changed your airline reservation recently, you may have noticed that the standard change fee has gone up from $100 to a staggering $150 in many cases — this blog points out that the actual cost of changing a ticket in terms of the labor involved is estimated to be perhaps $10 — the rest is just profit.

Can it only be a question of time before you need a major credit card to be able to use the airplane lavatory…?

Guest entry by Mancunain

Filed Under: Airlines + flying

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  1. cpcat says:

    I’ll just walk, Ok?

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