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Airline Baggage fees too high
Old 04-06-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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Airline Baggage fees too high

LONDON – Police have arrested two women at an British airport after they reportedly tried to smuggle a corpse onto a flight.
Police said Tuesday the women were detained at Liverpool's John Lennon airport "on suspicion of failing to give notification of death" of a 91-year-old man.
The BBC and other British media reported that the women placed the man, a relative of theirs, into a wheelchair and covered his face with sunglasses in a bid to get him aboard a flight to Berlin.
The women, aged 41 and 66, were detained Saturday and have been released on bail. They have not been charged and police say inquiries are continuing. [AP]
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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I can think of no other response than this...

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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They should have flown Southwest, your first corpse is still free.
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Old 04-06-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
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If they were on Spirit airlines they would have had to pay $45 for a carryon corpse unless of course he would fit under the seat in front of them:

Spirit Airlines to charge up to $45 for carry-ons
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:09 AM   #5
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I've always been in favor of people paying for the services they use. The problem I have is that the airlines don't charge according to their actual costs (with a little profit tacked on). Rather, they are using this for the bulk of their profits it would seem. I'm assuming that roughly $40 a bag for checked baggage is about $35 of profit. They already have to have all the infrastructure to accommodate luggage handling and stowing, so the only incremental costs are the labor to handle and some fuel to lift the extra weight (which is actually significant, but no where near the $15 to $45 they now seem to want to charge.)

I've mentioned this to airline folks, but you never actually get to speak with anyone who could do anything about it. I usually say something like "I'll play your silly little game, but trust me. You have lost any possible loyalty to your company. I consider you a necessary evil. I consider you one of the "bad guys" just as I do congressmen and pedophiles." (Actually did get a "shocked" look from a counter agent when I said this once.)

I suppose in the great scheme of things, paying a ridiculous charge for baggage is not worth the extra blood pressure. Still, it seems suicidal for the airlines as I'm sure most folks resent the heck out of it and, like me, lose loyalty to any brand which "gouges" in such a way. I do understand that the airlines are on the ropes, financially. Still, taking it out on the traveling public in such a crass way seems counter productive. Given almost any other alternative, I would avoid airline traffic for the hassle factor and the near monopoly that the airlines are able to exert. I've driven up to 1000 miles to avoid air travel. I actually kind of like driving, though I'm the first to admit it's less safe and more time consuming - usually (just ask the folks stuck in a plane for 9 hours on the tar-mack).

Another suicidal thing the airlines have done is to institute "loyalty" programs and then renege by changing the rules or making it virtually impossible to use the earned miles. I suppose someone who flies a couple of times a month for business might be able to earn and then actually use their miles in a way that is worth the hassle. The average person who flies 2 or 3 times a year has no incentive to commit to a specific air carrier, because they can never earn enough miles to be worth anything. Again, I know the airlines are struggling, but why try to fool us as well as gouge us. It's short sighted in the extreme.

Guess this is another rant, so I'll quit now.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:23 AM   #6
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Seems to me they were just trying to save money. Any frugalmeister would be proud.
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Old 04-07-2010, 06:56 AM   #7
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What erks me are the airlines that don't tell you they charge for bags until AFTER you buy the tickets. Airtran pulled that on us on our last flight but this time we're flying Southwest to avoid those fees.
Koolau is right, these tactics are shortsighted. They got me once but you better believe they won't get me twice and so there goes another customer.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:10 AM   #8
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If they were on Spirit airlines they would have had to pay $45 for a carryon corpse unless of course he would fit under the seat in front of them:

Spirit Airlines to charge up to $45 for carry-ons
It really pisses me off that this may be the beginning of having to pay for carry on baggage. I would like it much better if the airlines just jacked up the price of the airline ticket and included checked or unchecked baggage in the price of the ticket. But the airlines have little or no control over how other airlines price tickets so they'll continue to nickel and dime us to death. I can tell you that I will think twice about flying anywhere now because it's such a pain in the butt...and will be even more unlikely to fly if they start charging for carryons. IMO, in the end the airlines will lose some of the flying public (and since their profit margins are so low, this may be the profitable part) because flying will be such a hassle. I'd be curious to see if one of the big airlines like United, American or Delta started marketing all-inclusive slightly more expensive tickets (say, $30-$40 more for a roundtrip) which included everything to see if they could actually sell more tickets. I know that Southwest still has free checked baggage and they don't seem to be hurting.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:46 AM   #9
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I think this program will be a big flop and they will quietly retract it after other airlines don't follow along. Too much, I don't know what the hell they are thinking.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:49 AM   #10
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I know that Southwest still has free checked baggage and they don't seem to be hurting.
Seriously when you do the math on a couple people checking baggage both ways you can pay a lot more for Southwest and still come out ahead. Given that they are already extremely competitive on pricing I take 'em any chance I can.

Now if they'd just start flying to Reagan.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:02 AM   #11
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The big problem with me is that this is something that almost everybody has.... a bag... it should be priced in the ticket... if you go OVER the one check on or the one carry on... then sure, charge for the extra weight...

Think about this... you go to buy a hamburger and they slap a bun in front of you... 'where's the meat'... "OH, that is an extra $1"... 'what about the pickles and tomato?'... "that is also an extra $1"...

I am glad that I do not have to fly that much anymore. But still have a couple hundred thousand miles to use...
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:07 AM   #12
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When people stop flying the airlines that have all these junk fees only then will it stop.

You have a vote on this stuff everytime you fly.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:18 AM   #13
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Actually there is an article in the NY Times on this very issue today. Seems one of the big savers for the airlines is by instituting fees for bags to be checked, people are more restrained in what they take with them. In turn, that results in less injuries to baggage handlers. Number of bags being checked means less baggage handlers needed. Interesting read.

Less Baggage, Big Savings to Airlines - NYTimes.com

As to frequent flyer programs, we probably travel no more than 4 times a year on flights where we can gain points, however we are able to gain benefits from their programs. The key is to not spread yourself too thin, be aware of what specials are being offered (ie. lurk at FlyersTalk, no better or easier way to know what is going on) and be ready to take advantage when there is something good on offer. You might not get something every year, but I find even being able to pre-board is something I will gratefully accept.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:18 PM   #14
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Airline considers fee for lavatory use - CNN.com

"Fresh on the heels of one budget airline announcing that it will ask passengers to pay extra to bring carry-on bags on board, another is considering charging them for using the lavatory."


Wouldn't bat an eye if that article was in TheOnion.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:02 PM   #15
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Actually there is an article in the NY Times on this very issue today.
I found only one good argument in the article for the airlines to be willing to infuriate fliers with extra fees. All the others were, in my opinion, bogus - even if slightly true (I would agree that less baggage means less lost bags, but that has always been a problem of hiring and keeping incompetent people, not that there HAS to be 2% lost baggage. Some air carriers are well under .5% if memory serves). NO, the one item that makes some sense is that less baggage gives them a chance to ship more cargo. But, if that is the case, why not go into the cargo business and forget transporting humans. Crates of stuff never complain or get sick. Sounds like the perfect business model to me.

I was disappointed in the article because it gave no figures. How much does it cost to ship an additional bag? How much fuel does it cost to deliver one more pound of luggage? etc. Without that info, this sounds like a totally pro-airline story. There was very little about whether the flying public has a case when it gets honked off at the airlines for their excessive fees. In short, a very unbalanced article. Why doesn't someone actually do a piece on the business model, with facts and figures. If it does actually cost $25 to deliver an "additional" bag, maybe folks would quit complaining and anti up.

The article did point out that there have been bad consequences to the airlines of this practice of charging for bags. Folks carry on more which takes more time and causes more injuries. What is the cost of THAT compared to the fees they now collect for baggage?

In the old days, i packed 2 medium or small bags to check, fairly light so I wouldn't strain myself carrying them. Now, for checked baggage, I take a single large bag, carefully weighed to 49.9 pounds. I have one small item near the zippered flap which I can retrieve and stuff in my coat if I'm a couple tenths of a pound over at check in.

I used to carry on a camera bag or at most a small duffle. Now, I stuff an official size carryon bag (looks like what the flight attendants use) and pack it to 39.9 lbs. Yes, I've changed my travel habits. That may have been the airlines motive. If so, they have been successful. However, I don't think it has saved them much fuel and it has cost them ALL of my loyalty. I'll pick one carrier over another now for a difference of $10 in the fare (including the excessive baggage fees). There was a time I had a couple of favorite air carriers. Now I curse them all when I have to fly. I used to smile and sigh as I intently watched every airline commercial. Now,when an airline commercial comes on TV, I switch the channel faster than when (the late) Billie what's-his-face comes on screaming about some kitchen product.

Can't believe the airlines actually have gained much by their recent desperate antics.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:45 AM   #16
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In my opinion, an airline ticket should be good to transport a certain weight of "cargo". By "cargo" I mean you, your carry ons, and your checked baggage. If your "cargo" is over the weight limit, you pay more. Doesn't matter if its because your weight or baggage.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:49 AM   #17
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I just love this headline

Pay toilet policy to help keep Ryanair flush with cash

Quote:
Home | Financial Post | News | Opinion | Arts | Life | Sports | Homes | Cars | Blogs | Multimedia | Classifieds


Main | About | Contact Editor | Subscribe RSS


Pay toilet policy to help keep Ryanair flush with cash
Posted: February 27, 2009, 12:45 PM by Drew Hasselback airlines


Discount airline Ryanair has come up with a policy to help keep it flush with cash. Michael O'Leary, chief executive of Ryanair Holdings, said the company may charge passengers to use toilets on planes.
Ryanair generates about 20% of its revenue from "ancillary" sources, such as charges for extra luggage. So why not toilet use, too? O'Leary told the BBC the airline is mulling the policy.
"One thing we've looked at in the past and are looking at again is the possibility of maybe putting in a coin slot on the toilet door so that people might actually have to spend a pound to spend a penny in the future."
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:49 AM   #18
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Alaska is charging for a checked bag too. I will be 70 next year - I hate lifting a roll aboard to the overhead so, if I must fly them, I choose their short-haul Horizon where the overheads are too small and they put the bag in the belly at plane side ("A La Cart").

Frankly the industry and the hassle at the airport has caused me to consider alternate forms of transportation... AMTRAK here I come! Flying is a last resort.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:28 AM   #19
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Actually I don't mind the baggage restrictions because it makes me think about what I am going to take. Previously I have been guilty of using every last pound allocated to me, however I am getting better, instead of taking 6 pairs of shoes I will take 4. I like being able to travel with a bit of room in my suitcase, because normally I only use 50% or less of the things that I do pack. I prefer to check my bag as I can't stand wandering around the airport looking like a pack mule. I usually only take a largish handbag on board with my valuables and a book to read. To me, charging for a bag brings it to a user pays system. If I am not bringing a bag why should I pay for it.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:39 AM   #20
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If I am not bringing a bag why should I pay for it.
Almost everyone brings either a checked or carryon bag that would be difficult to fit under a seat when they travel, so it's not like we're talking about an add-on service that some people will want. What this airline is doing is charging just about everyone an extra fee for an existing (and in most cases required) service.

Food? Fine, can bring my own or not eat for a few hours.

Only a bag that fits under my seat? Tough to do, maybe for a weekend in Vegas or something but no way for longer trips or business trips.
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