Enough With The Nickel and Dimeing, Already!

I read an article that stated effective August 1, 2010, a US airline plans to charge for “carry-on luggage”!  Their rationale is that the charge will “discourage customers from bringing on carry-on luggage, improve safety and speed up the boarding and deplaning process”.  The airline stated that in addition to the surcharge, they plan to lower airfares. The surcharge would not apply to items that fit under the seat in front of you.  The article also stated that the other domestic carriers are taking a “wait & see” stance to measure customer reaction.  If they find that there is no “strong customer backlash” they may follow suit.  New York’s Senator Chuck Schumer thinks this is absurd and plans to introduce legislation to fight the surcharge!

Don’t get me wrong, I am truly in favor of improving safety and “speeding up the boarding and deplaning” process but why is it necessary to put a “charge” on something that I expect the airline to consider in their “operational efficiency stats”!

I think the airlines that are considering this move should sit in “our seats” to appreciate our priorities!  As for “improving safety,” I would prefer they concentrate on checking their equipment and where they rate in terms of on time performance.  In addition to trying to improve their revenue, they should also consider what impact increases will have on other travel services i.e. hotels, car rentals, tourism!”

I recently spent several days checking web notices about “airfare sales”.  When I found a price that I thought was a “bargain”, it did not include the price of “a seat”!  Now I ask you, short of finding another airline, is there anyway I can take advantage of this sale without a seat?  As a consumer, I would appreciate it if the airlines would stop trying to find ways to squeeze more money out of us.  To appear credible, I would advise them to include everything they can possibly think of in the price of their ticket and leave the demand to the market.  The law of “supply and demand” will determine who stays in the air and who gets grounded!

Cheryl Homer-Wilson

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