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Nickel and Diming Us to Death

Of course we all saw it coming.

First the airlines starting charging for a second checked bag. Then a first checked bag. Then a buck for soda and coffee.

Many seats like the more spacious emergency row seats now cost to reserve, and in some cases, a quarter of the seats on a flight carry a surcharge.

Now, to no one’s great surprise, US Airways, which led the squeeze on passengers, is considering a price of seven bucks for a pillow and blanket.

What the heck, Jet Blue does that on many flights already, so why not join the revenue line.

Would that mean a family of four would have to fork over $32.00 bucks to keep warm on a flight? Or would they create a tent at 36,000 feet in the air, and squeeze all four under two blankets with two pillows?

Pleasant thought!

What’s really funny is that the airlines say that all these fees are really in keeping with the American (no not the airline this time) spirit of independence!

Americans love freedom of choice, goes the argument. So, say the airlines, we’re giving Americans an a la carte approach.

Buy what they want and don’t buy what they don’t want, which conveniently ignores the fact that we were paying for these freebies as part of our ticket all along!

Unbundling is the industry word; freeing Americans from having their choices taken from them is the spin.

Now flyers can choose what they want and don’t want.

You can of course take the blanket and pillow home…and the theory goes, you now don’t have to worry about a small pox-infested blanket that you might get if you weren’t paying for it.

I suppose we all could use another pillow and blanket.

These policies are pure “money grabs”; revenue streams for the airlines.

But all this would be just OK if the $500 million bucks US Airways and other airlines generate from these sales of basic items led to lower prices.

I don’t think so! When has an airline ever translated its generated revenue into cheaper tickets?

One astute observer of the industry argued that the best way for the airlines not to incur costs is not to fly at all.

Probably an easier alternative to more intelligent cost-cutting strategies like more efficient airplanes, using less crowded airports, better union contracts and getting rid of cumbersome management.

I wonder if they’ll charge for using the lavatories?

You bet they will.

Headline: Why do the airlines insist on nickel and diming us to death! They call it “bundling”. It’s a rip off

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