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Paying to Pee During a Flight

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Paying to Pee: Airlines Charge for Toilet Use and Carry-on Luggage

Nickel and diming passengers to death for what were once free in-board services is pretty typical for the airlines today.

Like King Gillette’s famous business motto, give the razor away but charge for the blade, the airlines (say they) work hard to keep prices as low as possible, but charge for everything else like second bags, food, drinks and in many instances pillows and blankets.

Then comes Florida-based Spirit Airlines which just announced it was charging passengers $45.00 for for each and every bag.

Not the ones you checked in, but the ones you carried aboard to avoid paying for the bag you wanted to check in.

So Spirit is charging passengers for all baggage.

Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary, called Spirit’s action “outrageous” and “ridiculous”. He went to far as to say the airlines doesn’t care about its passengers.

It could be a case of airline insensitivity or hubris in their madcap chase for revenue, but Spirit’s chief Ben Baldanza justifies the charge by saying that carry on luggage is the number 1 reason for departure delays. He says additional revenue was not the motivator behind his decision.

At the risk of sticking my neck out, I can say that he may have a point.

All too many flights have been late in taking off as cabin crew patiently or not so patiently wait for everyone to jam their luggage into the crammed overheads.

In a way it’s a reasonable, if very unpopular move to ask people to pay for exactly what they need to bring on board, avoiding the frenetic overstuffing of bins, and consequent and delays which do nothing for the airlines’ bottom lines and on-time flight stats.

FlyersRights.org president , Kate Hanni, sees it differently of course. She says that it seems the airlines will “continue try and squeeze out every dollar they can from passengers, regardless of economic hardship, inconvenience or humiliation.”

But what’s really got Hanni’s ire up and that of many consumer groups is low-cost carrier Ryanair’s proposal to charge to use the in-flight toilets.

Paying to pee takes fee for service to a new low.

What do think? Is paying to use the toilet or for carry-on bags fair?

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