Over the last few weeks, many airlines have instituted a policy to charge $25 for each bag checked on an airplane. American Airlines took this one step further by announcing that the first bag checked would be an additional $15. This is so wrong for many reasons. Off the top of my head, here are a few.
1) The airline is just being petty. If they just included this amount in the cost of the flight nobody would notice. I’d rather they just call it a gas surcharge like the cab companies do.
2) Suppose you buy a bottle of vodka at the Duty Free shop (Yes, Angie, I said duty). Per TSA regulations, you can’t bring liquid on the airplane so you’d have to check it. Any savings at the Duty Free shop (still giggling) would be essentially given to American Airlines. It's a loophole to slam us travelling alcoholics.
3) People are going to avoid checking bags. Therefore, the security lines at airports will now be just that much longer as people put more bags on the belt. Also, there will be delays at the gate while people try to stuff oversize bags in the overhead compartments. Once the overhead is full, the airline would have to put it underneath anyways so why not save time.
I am flying American Airlines out of the country later this summer. As a customer and a registered frequent flyer, one would think that they would blast a notice of the fee change to all of its customers with confirmed flights or, at a minimum, to its list of frequent flyers. If they have done so, I am still waiting for my notice. They will claim that they released the information via a press release. Therefore, I now am issuing a press release to respond to their press release. American Airlines, you’ve been served.
For immediate release to the press
As a passenger on American Airlines, effective June 1, 2008, I will now be instituting the following fees:
1) For every 5 minutes our plane is late arriving at the gate, I will be instituting a fee of $10. Being on the ground does not count if our plane can not get to the gate and being at the gate does not count unless a representative is there to greet the unloading passengers
2) For every time I get hit with a drink cart, I will charge a $20 fee.
3) For the inconvenience of having a chair that does not lean back, I will charge a $30 fee. The same fee applies if I can not open a laptop on the plane because the person in front of me has put his seat back too far.
4) I will charge a $4 fee if someone has already done the crossword puzzle in the airline magazine.
5) Another $20 will be charged to reimburse for the time I waste reading through the SkyMall catalog knowing that I will never ever buy anything from it.
6) I will charge a fee of $13.99 if the in-flight movie involves a sequel to a movie that I never saw or stars Frankie Muniz.