Airlines keep stacking up the fees
Still hurting for revenue, carriers are constantly coming up with new ways to separate passengers from their money.
Never underestimate the creativity of cash-hungry organizations looking for new ways to squeeze money out of their customers.
Consider the airline industry. It keeps coming up with new sets of fees that nickel-and-dime passengers from the moment they arrive at the airport until they reach their final destination.
But it's not that the air carriers are simply trying to hassle you. Like everyone else in this financially challenged landscape, they need the money.
"U.S. airlines eked out another year of meager profitability as expenses grew faster than revenues with record-setting fuel prices serving as a primary driver," John Heimlich, chief economist for the trade group Airlines for America, told the Los Angeles Times.
And so we're seeing more add-on perks such as United Airlines' (UAL) Premier Access fee. Starting at an additional $9, it lets passengers jump to shorter check-in lines and special security lanes at some airports and get priority boarding -- "so you can get to the gate, your seat and the overhead bin sooner."
But Amy Lee, senior analyst for Travelnerd.com, said the actual charges for Premier Access on a typical flight can run you a lot more. "So you will pay $50 to $100 to save about 30 minutes on your flight," she told the L.A. Times.
Some of these value-added fees might make some sense for the busy business traveler. If you want to use your computer in-flight, Southwest (LUV) offers all-day onboard WiFi service at $8 per device, or it can stream on-demand movies and TV programs to your laptop for $5.
And United recently started a service at some airports that will let you skip the baggage claim altogether. It will deliver your luggage directly to your home, hotel or meeting. That'll cost an extra $29.95 on top of the regular baggage fees of $25 for the first piece of checked luggage and $35 for the second.
These new fees are, of course, in addition to other fees for things that can make a potentially miserable flight much more comfortable, like extra legroom and in-flight food.
The Travelnerd site sings a lament familiar to many veteran air travelers: While airfares are arguably at an all-time high, the airlines continue to push additional and often confusing fees onto "financially weary travelers to boost revenues and margins."
The moral for cost-conscious travelers: Do your homework, compare prices and don't be caught off-guard by additional, unnecessary and sometimes unadvertised air fees.
As it stands now, we're herded like livestock on and off cramped planes and stuck on overcrowded flights with rude passengers and unfriendly flight crews who nickel and dime us to death, just so we can say we got a cheaper base fare.
So for now, as long as my destination is within 1000 miles or so, I'm driving.
Unless you must fly for your business or job I wouldn't set foot in an airport. I haven't got on an airplane in 30 years, and won't any time soon. Airline companies go in and out of business so fast it's ridiculous.
Service...don't believe it exists anymore. Drive your car or take the train.
Here's one they haven't come up with yet. Why don't they charge for admission to the airport?
But then again, greed is powerful.
I am waiting for standing room only seating in planes that way they can pack us in like sardines and make tons more money.
When they do that I quess they will have a fee if you don;t want your neighbors to be touching you. After all if they allow space between bodies then they will lose air fare.
Taking out the bathrooms will give them about ax extra 4 people per plane at $500 or $2,000 pure profit not to mention the cost savings of not having to clean the restrooms or use that special blue water.
THEN the next logical move will be to just lay us down on the ground and stack us like a core of wood that way if you are a short person they will not be wasting the space above your head.
Feel sorry for the people on the bottom however with all those people stacked on top of them.
Is there any business, government, or group NOT stacking on the fees? Everything is going up except salaries and they are going down! The Headlines should read: Still hurting for revenue, Congress is constantly coming up with new ways to separate Americans from their money (except for Congress, itself). Congress has admiteed the reason we are in the mess we're in is because they have not done their job! Yes!! RICHARD SHELBY said that in an interview with local media on March 4, 2013. He did not say he planned to give back any of his salary though, even though he admitted they (Congress) had not done their job! Thiese ididot still want to take part of the old people's SS though...and they will likely do it! They are cowards, preying on the weak!
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A basic income policy can actually ensure a decent standard of living for everyone.
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