The unfriendly skies

I am really beginning to think the goal of airlines is to fly planes and charge you for every little thing they can.  I long for the days when you purchased a ticket and it included everything for one price, no surprises.  I would gladly pay a little more if it was obvious what I was paying for up-front.  Unfortunately, airlines have become worse than the cable company, which I threw out of my life nearly a year ago.  It would not surprise me if in the next year we all start seeing “atmosphere” fees on the itemized list of airline ticket charges, with “atmosphere” being the air your body needs to live.

Today, Delta Air Lines has announced a “red-tag” system to track “legitimate” carry-on luggage.  OK, I’m all for avoiding passengers hauling a steamer trunk on board and trying to stuff it in the overhead bin.  I will fly any airline that imposes this on their passengers.  Unfortunately for the flying public, I see these red-tags as the first step in making sure passengers start having to check “extra” bags into the baggage hold so airlines can maximize the profit to be made from their new second bag policy (average $25 for the second bag), and so that the baggage crew can have fun losing even more luggage for us.  

Again, I have no problem with steamer trunks being put in the cargo hold, however, I *do*have a problem with being forced to check my suitcase when my entire itinerary is being flown on a regional jet (RJ). 

Why do I have a problem?  

When flying a RJ,  most carry-on suitcases will be put in the hold because they are too large for the small bins inside the cabin.  Why should I have to check my bag when I can simply pick it up and drop it off plane-side and not wait an hour for it to start circling the baggage belt?  I much prefer waiting a few minutes rather than an hour, and it saves me a tremendous amount of time on my business trips to New York which are made exclusively on RJ aircraft. 

Delta Air Lines says this is only for international flights but I’m fairly certain this is coming to domestic flights and you *will* get charged for those surprise second bags.  The only silver lining for me is that I usually only travel with my backpack and smaller than large suitcase, so I won’t be in danger of the second bag fee.  I hope the rest of you are as fortunate.

I’m really glad I didn’t purchase my new luggage this weekend.  I can’t wait to see what wacky rule gets imposed next.

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One Response to “The unfriendly skies”

  1. Would you like to sit down during your flight? That is an addtional charge. Restroom? nominal charge, sure you can’t hold it in? In case of trouble the oxygen mask will be available only if it has been prepaid. A collection will be taken up during the flight and the plane will taxi to the Terminal if and only if a substantial amount has been raised. Remember to bring a 5 gallon container of fuel or you won’t be allowed to board. Have a nice flight.

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