All of these add-on flying fees are just wearing down travelers. Maybe we should just open our wallets and let the airlines take what they want.
There have been so many fees lately, it's hard to keep track. It started with the fuel surcharges. Then the checked bag fee, which seems to have spread like a rash. Yesterday, American Airlines became the latest major carrier to charge passengers for checking a second bag. The fee: $25. United, Continental, Northwest and Delta all charge a similar fee. So far, Southwest appears to be a hold-out, but don't expect that to last. And then there's the ticket-change fee that United hiked by 50 bucks last week to offset rising fuel costs.
My favorite creative add-on fee is the "Choice Seats" program announced earlier this month by US Airways. Basically, passengers who check in online will have the option of ponying up $5 to upgrade to a coveted window or aisle seat in the first few rows of coach. This seems a bit like musical chairs to me. But US Airways calls it part of a trend in offering customers an "a la carte menu" of services. Umm, how much extra do I have to pay for the pilot?
What do you think of the new fees? Are you planning to pack fewer bags this summer?