6.17.2008

Airfare Schmucks!

I'm a bit peeved today. We're having some major internet issues, and nothing is working smoothly. No fun to be online. So to those bloggers I normally read and share my thoughts with, sorry, but until this mess gets cleaned up, I can barely even make it into a site. It took me hours just to open up this page today, and it just ain't worth the trouble!!! Hopefully we'll be back to normal soon.

But, what's got me even more peeved? Yeah, all these new airline changes they are implementing. No more free drinks, no more free baggage, no more free nothin'. I just can't sit back and let this all go by unnoticed. The cost of airfares has managed to increase greatly with the rise of fuel costs. I get that. As much as I don't like the fact we paid over 2 months salary for a summer vacation (ahem, just the airfare, I mean), I understand that the cost of flying has to increase with the rises in fuel costs. That isn't the issue here. But why all the extra charges for baggage? Why am I being penalized for bringing my clothes, toothbrushes, and stuff I need with me? Why, when I am sitting in an airplane for hours on end should I not be given a drink to 1) cure the thirst that comes fom flying in a cramped, stuffy quarter for hours on end 2) distract me from the boredom of flying for a spell and 3) give me something to excite my kids about and keep them good at least as long as it takes for them to get their free drink...and cola at that! (my kids do not get to drink soft drinks on a regular basis)? If I were allowed to bring a drink with me on the plance, it wouldn't be so bad. But with all the new security measures, I can't even do that. Don't get me wrong, I am glad security is improved and I don't complain that I have to remove my shoes, leave all the bottle of lotion at home, and be nearly strip-searched when I beep. And I don't even mind that I can't bring a drink with me...that is, until I am forced to BUY one on the plane. I didn't even mind when they quit serving meals on flights...so, we can eat before we leave or when we arrive...but when it comes to the sacred issue of a chug of replenishing and fresh water, I think things are being taken too far.

As for the luggage...they were already getting really picky with weight limits. First the approved weight was lowered, then they started weighing each piece forcing you to remove articles of clothing and rearrange bags to meet the standards, and now...I am allowed 1 carry o and 1 piece of luggage for free. After that it's $25 for the first extra piece and $100 for each thereafter. Now, I am traveling for 2 months with 2 children across America and back across the ocean again. I need more than the usual traveler needs. Maybe I sometimes pack too much that isn't necessary, sometimes I bring too many treats from Europe back to America with me, and sometimes I buy way too much junk in the US and have to transport it all home again. But the fact is that the bare minimum they have reduced our luggage allotments to are much too disciplined. It doesn't seem fair to be penalized for what we have always taken for granted as a traveler. Air travel is going to take a hit when all these changes go into effect. People are not going to be happy with the higher costs of travel. People are going to think twice about hopping on a plane when they realize that adding the reservation costs, luggage costs, boarding costs, drink costs, and tips to stewards is going to add an extra $300 onto the already high cost of their trip. And don't even get me started on the super greal deal of frequent flyer miles-HA!

What I am saying is that maybe not ALL airlines are followingthese new guidelines, maybe not all destinations have the same rules, maybe not all....but it is starting, and I will be one of the first affected by these changes...changes which I consider unjust and unfair. And yeah, I will end up paying the fees, because what else can I do. But I canguarantee you that I will be grumbling, the people at the gates and theose that check in tickets are going to be dealing with a LOT of unhappy customers. And when I accidentally spill 3 sticky, wet $2 colas on the seat of the plane and in the stool pocket in the seat in front of me, it'll be the best $6 I spent on my flight.

3 comments:

Claudia said...

It is not easy being a traveler right now, that is for sure!!!! I love JetBlue, too bad it does not fly everywhere!!!

Anonymous said...

You know, I can understand charging for alcohol. I can even imagine that they'd charge for soft drinks (even if I don't like it.) Charging for WATER though, especially when you can't bring it with you... that just seems so wrong.

Lisa

Jen said...

They are charging for even the first piece of checked luggage now. It's nuts.

The worst part of Aaron and I's honeymoon was the airports. They were dirty, smelly, and just way nasty.

I think I'm going to start taking the train.