Thursday, April 08, 2010

airlines going wrong direction with fees


Here's an airline idea, charge real low dirt cheap ticket prices and then charge a large fee if you actually show up to take the flight.

I think that's what Spirit Airlines is trying to do.  Did you see their latest announcement?
Spirit Airlines will start charging as much as $45 for carry-on bags.

Did you notice it said carry-on bags?  The only "free" bags are ones that can fit under the seat.  I've never flown Spirit (flying spirit - reminds me of the afterlife) and don't ever plan to.  Someone told me that on an international flight to South America, Spirit charged them for water!

While searching around on this subject I came across the idea that this new carry-on charge makes vacations to a nudist resort more attractive.  Ok, I follow that logic but with the TSA rules you'll only be able to bring along 3 oz. of sunscreen and suntan lotion.  There are parts that I would never want to burn.

I think the charge for the first bag discourages you from flying.  A second bag charge seems reasonable.

Today the Chicago Tribune had a front page story about this battle of the bags.
"...The 10 largest U.S. carriers collected $739.8 million in baggage charges during the third quarter of 2009, double prior-year totals, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics..."

Did you heard of these women in Liverpool UK?  

Well at least these two women didn't try to sneak their stiff on board inside their carry-on.  They had a ticket for the dead guy.

Woman Arrested After Trying to Check-In Dead Husband for Flight

I suspect they didn't think this flying the dead husband idea through very well.  They placed him in a wheelchair but were they going to drag him on and off the plane?

Of course if you are dead you don't need take along any baggage, so no extra fees.

I do remember a time (80's 90's) when flying was enjoyable.  I can recall having fun trips and the airplane ride could even add to the fun.  Here's a post that recalls those fun trips.
 
A recent trip required some flying time.  Shortly after landing I felt a cold coming on.  Good thing I didn't start coughing at the airport because the airline would have charged me for taking a cold.

On the way out our flight was overbooked but we didn't want to sacrifice any vacation time so we were not interested.  Coming back a connecting flight was overbooked and I jumped on the offer of a voucher for taking the next flight.  It turned out great.  We were only delayed about 2+ hours.  This time gave us a chance to eat dinner at this great Cuban restaurant at the Miami airport  (sorry I can't recall the name at the moment).

Have you ever taken the offer to give up your seats?

Do you know about Flying Pinto's blog?  I have mentioned her blog up here before.  You should check it out and maybe send her a question about flying.  I going to ask her about this crazy carry on trend.

26 comments:

dave hambidge said...

A well considered rant my friend; to which you can add a report in britland news yesterday the Ryanair are going to install coin entry charge for the inflight WC, £1 GBP or 1 euro.

secretagentwoman said...

Wow, I knew airlines were now charging to check a bag, but a carry-on? I'd really rather they charge more for the tickets and then just take my bag, and give me a drink and a snack without an extra fee.

Maureen@IslandRoar said...

This is insane! And I love how the company spins it like it's our fault. Hey, if we need to travel with STUFF, then it's our problem and we can just pay for it.

TechnoBabe said...

My traveling days are over. I used to fly often and sometimes far. I am glad for the experiences and the sights and sounds, but now I am glad for the calm little life in my little hippie house. This is interesting how the airlines are going to collect on the carry on bags.

lisleman said...

I had heard that ridiculous idea. Gee doesn't it cost more to clean the accidents from the seats (I was trying to hold it until we landed) than operate the toilets? I posted some thoughts about Ryanair last year but I have never flown them.
http://afcsoac.blogspot.com/2009/02/idiot-blogger-vs-rude-customer-service.html

lisleman said...

I do believe most people feel this way. Have they never heard of a package deal?

lisleman said...

don't need stuff - fly naked

lisleman said...

I don't fly very often anymore but if it was enjoyable I might.

Fantastic Forrest said...

All great minds think alike. I posted about the same topic today but used very bad language.

As for your question about giving up our seats - oh my, yes. Frequently. I even make the offer to them proactively so that they don't have to announce it. I have lots more time than money. We once turned over vouchers for a flight, got bumped from that flight, got more vouchers, got bumped again....it helped pay for our trip to Europe as well as several domestic flights. I was very sad this spring break because we had no bumps. The airline was certainly filled to capacity, though.

Charlie Callahan said...

Spirit Airlines? Never heard of 'em.

I think the airlines are copying the banks in a new-fee-festival. I'm waiting for turnstiles to be installed in the bank lobby if you need teller assistance. Put a buck in the turnstile and get warm, caring help from a teller.

lisleman said...

someday the only ones visiting the bank lobby will be robbers

lisleman said...

Yes I read your good post.
So you believe in the voucher bump. Well so far it's working ok. Have you used them for online tickets? I assume you can but the gate agent didn't seem to know (or care?).

Charlie Callahan said...

And the only people flying will be those same bank robbers who can afford all the fees.

greeneyedmomster said...

I'm just glad I don't want to go anywhere I can't drive to!
;)

Suntan Lotion said...

I just flew Southwest today, and did not have to pay extra for my luggage. However it is so ridiculous to have to pay for your luggage! Now everyone will carry on.

lisleman said...

sometimes the world is out to get you - the price of gas is going up.

Willoughby said...

What a shame that the airlines have to nickel and dime us to death. We fly Spirit Airlines almost every year when we go on vacation and I've always been satisfied with them, but $45 for carry on bags is outrageous! I think my family and I can beat the system, though. We'll just dress in multiple layers. We can wear our week's worth of clothing all at once, no luggage needed! I can use the $45 I save in carry on fees to buy all new toiletries at our destination.

Pat said...

I'm with secretagentwoman: charge more and give me a drink! Now this may be an unpopular opinion, or even unAmerican (or unContinental), but I wish there was one price for one destination. The way it is now, you go nuts trying to get the best price, and are frustrated by the ads that ALWAYS have a cheaper price than you paid, and by your friends who brag about going to London for a buck two eighty. and whatever you pay, the experience stinks. I'd also pay more (and fly a little less) for some amenities. Like clean toilets . . .

lisleman said...

good to hear from someone who actually has flown on Spirit. Oh, good luck fastening your seatbeat with all the layers of clothes around you.

lisleman said...

Years ago I accepted the fact very few passengers on the plane paid the same price to be on it. I don't mind the changing prices but like others I hate the extra this and that at the airport. The other travel service that is full of fees is rental cars. I think you pay extra to have 4 tires and a seat.

dwmatty said...

I only fly once every few years. Once on a trip to San Juan, coach was overbooked and they put us in first class at no extra charge. But those extra fees these days for things are awful. If fares were more reasonable, I would fly more often.

lisleman said...

Over the years I've been upgraded but something tells me that's not likely to happen much anymore.
thanks for stopping by

unknownmami said...

Good grief! Charging for carry ons is ridiculous!!!

lisleman said...

I was thinking you had already seen this post. Thanks for visiting.
Yes most of the airlines execs are a few clowns short of a circus.

Lilly said...

I just read that Airlines will start charging for customers to use the toilets on board now. Richard Bransons Virgin airlines is one to watch too. The fares are cheap but all the extras cost. Airlines have got to be doing it tough it seems which doesnt make me feel any more overjoyed when I have to fly.

I also heard about the German guy who was dead - mmm how they thought they would get away with that one I do not know. Poor guy...

lisleman said...

The dead man flying story makes me wonder about his situation while he was alive. There is probably much more to the strange story than we will ever know.

Featured Post

easy cheat post

lighten up watch a slideshow