A House subcommittee investing the airline industry discovered that airlines are making “billions” of dollars off what are supposedly relatively small extra airline fees, such as those for extra checked luggage or for a 4 oz. can of juice. Congressional members were surprised that the airlines were able to generate such huge profits from what appeared to be just a little bit of small extra revenue, and said that the practice hides the true cost of flying. Airline executives said that they are just trying to make flying profitable in a difficult economic environment, and that most of the extra frills are bought by members of secret airlines frequent flyer clubs. The top ten most secret expensive airline “extras” are listed below.
1. For a $10,000 a year base fee, graphite card members are allowed to fly in style in a secret “luxury cabin” hidden in the cargo hold of most airplanes which includes big screen televisions and free snacks such as brownies. Most flyers have no idea that luxurious accommodations exist just below their feet.
2. Passengers who pay $5,000 a year for Delta airline’s “preferred security clearance” are allowed to bypass security at the airport after whispering the secret word, “nachos”, and showing a special badge to Homeland security officials.
3. For a $750 dollar fee you were allowed to take a gun on board the plane and play “air marshall” on certain select flights into the United States. However, due to security concerns this practice was discontinued.
4. Members of the super secret “Golden Wings Club”, informally referred to as GWC, are allowed to ride a secret high speed subway system which transports members from any 4 star hotel on the country to the departure gate of their choice. Membership in the club is based upon status as a celebrity, or acting highly ranked government official. Al Gore was previously a member of this club, but had his membership revoked when it was discovered that he was asking for inappropriate massages from GWC personnel.
5. For a $33.00 fee per flight, members in Southwest Airlines “cookie jar club” get extra peanuts and pretzels, and sometimes cookies, from the flight attendants if available.
6. Though not an official airline’s club, elite members of the McDonald’s Airport club get free happy meals during layovers, and get access to a top secret lounge in several major airports often referred to as “Ronald’s Pub.” Marked with only a nondescript looking “M” on the door, this club has “value meals” which feature grilled salmon and pepper stuffed chicken.
7. Although it’s free, most airline travelers don’t know that if you whisper the secret word, “flap jack”, before boarding the plane you get an entire row to yourself if traveling alone. One 90 year old woman who tried to get this free perk, but was misheard by flight attendants as saying “hijack”, was detained for over six months at Gitmo.
8. For a $400 fee, passengers traveling with pets can get a special seat for their dog or cat so that they can travel with them on the flight. Referred to as a “doggy seat”, it is buckled into a regular passenger’s seat and allows your pet to enjoy the excitement of take off. For an extra $50 dollars, you are allowed to open the passenger window and let your dog to stick its head out.
9. For people who have a phobia about flying, and for a flat yearly fee of $5,000, you get to inspect the outside of the airplane with the pilot before take-off, and you get to ask the co-pilot anything you want during the flight should you notice a lose bolt or something else amiss.
10. After taking a two week training class, you can help unload luggage at the airport when your plane lands, and you get a complimentary pair of orange flashlight batons with “Me Airlines” stenciled on the side.
For the top ten secrets of popular television shows, click here.