Out of Control Airline Fees

Here is the most telling quote from a CNN article about Florida-based Spirit Airlines‘s decision to charge $20-$45 per carry-on in an effort to curb out of control carry-on luggage:

Spirit’s new fee could be effective in reducing the number of carry-ons and the industry will be watching closely to see what impact it has, said Rene Foss, a flight attendant for more than 25 years and the spokeswoman for the union.

“At this point, it seems like anything is worth a try, I guess, because it is out of control on board the aircraft,” Foss said.

“Nobody wants to pay for checked luggage, so they bring it all on board the airplane and they’re bringing bags that are bigger and heavier. Often times, the passenger is unable to actually lift their own bag over their head … [and] they want the flight attendants to lift it.”

Again: nobody wants to pay for checked luggage, so they bring it all on board the airplane.

And that’s the problem here.  Airlines want to have it both ways.  They want to charge you to check luggage, to bring luggage on board and then they want to cry about how this is a necessity. 

They want to cry about the dire straits of how too many people are bringing on over-sized carry-ons, but this is a problem caused by airlines! You can’t create a problem on one hand and then cry about it on another by charging an equally ridiculous fee. 

“Airline passengers have absorbed fees upon new fees over the last several years and they are hitting the boiling point,” NY Senator Chuck Schumer said in an e-mail Sunday. Schumer is hoping to pass legislation to prevent these fees. 

But it would be better if airlines just stopped tacking on fees (like Ticket Master) and just started charging more for tickets.  But again, they want to have it both ways. If they charge too much per ticket they lose business and they cry about it.  If they charge lower rates but then tack on outrageous fees they cry about that.

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