I remember a time when banking didn’t have fees for everything. That was the “good old days” when banks simply made money on interest and pure volume of accounts. Now you have silly things like a dollar just to check the balance at an ATM. But those dollars add up to fast profits in a world where short term gain is sacrificed for long term stability.
The airlines are doing the same thing now that their industry is on the ropes. Instead of trying to maintain a loyal customer base they are nickel and diming flyers repeatedly with blunt instruments to beat us into submission. Okay, we get the message. Those pesky fees are here to stay for things that used to be free on flights.
My family travels by air at least twice a year for vacations to see grandparents and in-laws. Here are some of the fees that we’ve come to expect plus some new ones that airlines are starting to add. Caveat emptor.
There have always been fees for extra luggage on airlines and we gladly pay that since we have two kids who need “stuff” on trips. We typically pay between thirty and forty bucks per person (usually my wife and daughter) for their extra bags beyond the one that is free. My son and I have taken packing light to an art form.
Some airlines are just now making fees for carry-on bags. Yes, a carry-on bag of essential items may have an extra fee attached to it according to USA Today. So far it’s just Spirit Airlines that says they are charging up to $45 for a carry-on bag stored in an overhead compartment. The big five are not following suit. I suppose we’ll wait to see if Spirit goes out of business soon or not.
Luckily for my family most of the food we eat on the plane is packed by my wife beforehand since we’re finicky about snack foods. Otherwise, we may have to pay even for snacks. Checking KAYAK’s website, some airlines charge up to four bucks for snacks.
The more food you eat the more you’ll be charged, like ten bucks for a sandwich. At that rate we can get an entire meal at McDonald’s for five bucks right after we land if we’re that desperate for food.
Little things do add up. American Airlines and JetBlue are going to start charging for pillows and blankets according to the Boston Globe. Shorter flights won’t be affected by fees like that. But if you’re going trans-Atlantic you may have to start paying for bedding. Despite this, industry analysts say that it is cheaper to fly now than it was in the 1970s.
European low-cost airline Ryanair is going to start charging for using the bathroom on flights of an hour or less. What will they think of next? Hopefully we’ll never have to insert quarters for personal floatation devices or oxygen masks.