Here's how 1 man handled $1,400 in baggage fees
The passenger reacted badly to huge penalties for overweight luggage, sparking a security scare at 2 airports.
Here's a shining example of unintended consequences. The Delta Airlines (DAL) check-in counter at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was closed for more than two hours on Tuesday after authorities discovered some unattended luggage.
Law enforcement went into action, calling in bomb technicians and scanning the bags, but nothing suspicious was found.
Turns out the luggage belonged to a Delta passenger heading to New York. When faced with $1,400 in overweight baggage fees, he chose to ditch the bags completely.
The unidentified traveler had a second unpleasant surprise awaiting him when the plane touched down. Law enforcement officers were waiting for the flight and interviewed the passenger after he arrived, Transportation Security Administration spokesman Ross Feinstein told NBC News.
"There was no criminal intent by the passenger," an official familiar with the incident told KIRO-TV in Seattle. "This was strictly a customer service-related issue."
Of course it was. In Delta's defense, its website does note that baggage exceeding the company's weight and size limits "will be subject to three fees: one for the extra bag, one for exceeding the weight limit and one for going over the size restriction. Fees are charged for each additional bag, each way."
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Delta collected nearly $866 million in baggage fees last year -- the most of any U.S. airline -- while the top 16 domestic carriers brought in close to $3.5 billion.
Baggage fees are just one way the airlines are trying to remain profitable as they limp out of the recession. Not only are airfares higher, says the TravelNerd web site, but the carriers "have pushed a variety of fees (e.g. baggage fees, booking fees, and ticket change fees) onto financially weary travelers to boost revenues and margins. These airline fees are not only numerous, but they are also confusing and not clearly advertised."
You do have to wonder, however, how much the closure of Delta's counter at Sea-Tac ended up costing the airline and the airport -- not to mention any customers inconvenienced by the delay.
Sea-Tac TSA are also incredibly over zealous.
I don't condone what that guy did... but the frustration level with bag fees, and the lack of critical thinking demonstrated at an airport that should be world class (with Microsoft, Boeing, etc in the neighborhood)---it's a wonder there are not more incidents of this.
Basic Baggage Fees are criminal---and delay the plane because of all the people who refuse to check bags they have no business carrying on...but if you have a steamer trunk or ski's or something, you should pay something. If this guy had been any kind of smart, he would have flown First Class or shipped this stuff ahead. $1400? What did he pack?
I read somewhere else that he was traveling alone and with seven suitcases. SEVEN! SEVEN?
Perhaps to avoid confusion (on HIS part) he should have consulted the air carrier's website to determine what possible fees he would have in bringing all of his belongings. Once again a company is being maligned for non-compliance of an individual and people are judging before they even listen to the facts.
$1400 in fees is trying to gouge someone, not "remain profitable."
I realize that it's not possible for business travelers to use alternatives to air travel all the time. And some folks, especially those who have an admirable ability to check their dignity at the front door, won't.
But for me the best part of today's air travel is using it the same as if it did not exist. This will work as long as Amtrak and the Family Truckster will continue to let me see the U.S.A.
makes me wonder...when you see all these mid Asians lining up with enormous suit cases, cardboard boxes
etc...never seems to be an argument.. suppose they just pay their $1400 AND GET ON THEIR WAY...OR
THEY DONT GET CHARGED UNDER THE SAME TARIFF...
More than likely they don't get charge.. I used to be a loyal Delta customer ..but after one famous screwover I quit...
that was in1992.. ....now I ship my suitcase by UPS/FEDEX to the hotel at my destination.... screw the airlines
and their avaricious overpaid management..
The biggest rip of and money maker in history of Airlines the fees must stop ,If people stop fly with them they will stop all the fees.
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