Seriously, what’s up with all the bobbleheads in the media pontificating about how the airlines made $3 point something billion on “fees” last year? If I read one more quote about how someone feels “nickel and dimed” by the airlines or arrived at the airport and was surprised by the fees they charge I might scream. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 3 years, it shouldn’t be a surprise that most airlines are charging for checking luggage nowadays. Admittedly, I’ve always thought JetBlue’s 1 bag free policy was the right one for the industry and for Customers. However, I don’t think any of the airlines that charge for the first bag have been hiding the fact that they do so. And so what if the airlines received a $3 billion or so plus up on the revenue line from “fees.” Here’s a tip. If you don’t want to pay a checked bag fee, buy a reasonable carry on bag and leave the kitchen sink at home.
That said, I think airlines could do a better job of public relations on this. Stop saying things like “we must institute these fees due to high oil prices” or whatever. Be honest. It’s not just high oil prices. Airlines haven’t made money since the Wright Brothers and this is just one experiment to try and make the bleeding stop. The airlines should also proactively refund the checked bag fee of any passenger whose bags are misdirected and do not arrive on the same flight they travel on. Taking the money and then not giving it back when the airlines don’t live up to their end of the bargain only reinforces the perception that this is just a confiscatory money grab and not a reasonable unbundling of services where you only pay for the services you want.
Anyways…..now you know where I stand on bag fees. Off soap box.