I was listening to the news today. Big mistake. It's invariably depressing and today it just made me irritated. American Airlines announced that they are charging $15. for the first bag that you check, $25. for the second. Having booked a flight with United last month to leave in June, I'd already been informed that there would be no charge for the first bag but a $25. fee would apply to a second bag.
I talked to someone who co-owns a travel agency. His guess: they'll all start to charge for each bag. Yes, they follow like sheep. But wouldn't it be wonderful if one of them stood up and said that they still believe in service and would not charge for bags but would continue their normal fees for excess baggage. I'll bet people would flock to that airline.
I can't say that the airlines have made me very happy in recent years. I'm crammed into a seat with no legroom (all of my 5' 10" height is in my legs). Worse, I have always liked to travel with one of my four-legged companions. The carry-on that I use fits under the seat. If I travel with a dog or cat, I am charged an average of $80. each way for my carry-on. That has now been raised to $100. each way. If I have my laptop computer with me, there is no extra charge. It's only if I'm carrying a laptop cat or dog that I have to pay an exhorbitant fee that no one else is charged. Never mind that they are smacking me in the shoulder or head with their huge carry-ons. I asked about it. They don't have a real answer. After all, I'm the only one losing legroom with a bag under the seat. I have yet to have a dog or cat make noise, scream, cry, throw up, pull another passenger's hair, run up and down the aisle, etc. So why are we pet owners being punished? They don't even give me additonal airmiles for which I'm pretty obviously paying. The closest to an answer I got, and it was probably a guess, was that some people are allergic to pets. I pointed out that some people are allergic to unruly children.
We get no food, no snacks, pay higher prices (and please don't tell me about fuel. I have a car. I know only too well.), have no seat room, no leg room as they find ways to cram more people aboard. It's amazing the planes can take off! And now more people will have carry-ons when there was never enough overhead space for the carry-ons that were already coming aboard!
I still remember the old Pan Am flight from Boston to Bermuda. Even in coach the service was nice, there was food. Edible food. I miss those days.
How much worse can it get? I'm afraid to ask.
For those going on book tours, I wish you tolerable flights and safe landings. And lots of sales to make it worthwhile.
Causes Darlene Arden Supports
The Marcia Polimer Abrams Fund for Canine Behavior Studies at the AKC Canine Health Foundation