Wednesday, April 07, 2010

You Knew It Was Coming Sooner or Later...

Yes, friends, if you've been sitting there waiting for the other shoe to fall, wait no longer: the first airline has announced plans to charge for ... carry-on luggage.

Spirit Airlines announced yesterday that it will begin charging between 20 and 45 dollars for carry-on bags which must be placed in an overhead bin on board the aircraft. In a magnificent bit of 1984-style Newspeak, a spokesman for Spirit Airlines tried to put the best spin on the new charge by saying, "In addition to lowering fares even further, this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process."

While it's true that I have often been frustrated by people who block aisles and delay boarding and deplaning as they try to stuff bags the size of upright pianos into overhead bins, I blame the airlines for not making them check those bags at the gate. Charging an extra fee for carry-on bags has nothing to do with improving safety and efficiency - it has to do with making money. And nobody with a functioning brain (that leaves out most Republicans and Democrats) can possibly believe that this new fee will result in "lowering fares even further." I must have missed the part where they were lowered in the first place.

I sometimes envy my online friend Craziequeen and her ability to escape to the 14th century. I wonder if the local lord charged extra for baggage loaded on mules?

Inquiring minds want to know. Sort of.

Have a good day. Pack less.

More thoughts tomorrow.



allenwoodhaven said...

Jet Blue, on their corporate blog, reportedly has a photo of a person wearing a shirt in the shape of a suitcase, saying that this new design allows you to pack for a trip with enough room to spare for the money you'd save on those fees. (Which Jet Blue does not have, at least so far.)

When they start to charge for the air inside the airplane, we'll all be in BIG trouble. (Although if everyone had their own oxygen tanks, smokers could have cigarette smoke put in theirs!) There are so many creative, though perhaps unethical, ways to make money. Isn't capitalism great?!

Bandit said...

Surely this will be the new norm for all airlines.

Leslie David said...

One more reason not to fly Spirit.

Mike said...

It's coming. Scales for the passengers.

Mike said...

Just saw on the news where an airline is going to charge for using the bathroom on flights of an hour or less.

Alex said...

Between the continually increasing costs, absurd policies, and hassles at the airport, it's getting to the point where it's easier not to fly.