Monday, May 25, 2009

Coffee, tea, or, er..... seat back?

Posted by Terry McNichols

A recent airline trip reminded me of why I don't like to fly any more. Since U.S. Airways now charges for every checked bag, consequently, all passengers now try to carry on their luggage. I learned quickly on my last flight with the same airline that a seat near the front of the airplane means that your carry on isn't going to have a place to be and will need to be gate checked. Since the same airline is very strict on the one carry on, one personal item rule, I had put my purse into my suitcase. That meant that my valuables and everything else I needed was now in the belly of the plane, checked at the actual door of the airplane, with no time to think things through. Fortunately, my suitcase arrived at my destination without incident.

On this particular flight, passengers were urged to gate check their bags in advance, thus getting to board the plane early and not have to fight for an overhead bin. We ended up finding room for our luggage far from where we were seated. So on the return flight, we offered to gate check our bags to save some hassles. Here's the conversation:
Me: "Are you offering gate check and early boarding?"
US Airways: "Yes, but you should have checked your bags at ticketing."
Me: "Right, but we wanted to carry them on and we have seats in row 8, so we know there won't be any room for our bags."
US Airways: "Then you should have checked them at ticketing."
Me: "And then you would have charged us $15 each for a bag we should be able to carry on."
US Airways: "Right. But you should have checked them in at ticketing.
Me: "And paid the extra $15?"
US Airways: "Well, we are going to make it so you can't do this in the future."

So I don't get it. Change the rules and make us pay to check our first bag. Then watch every passenger try to stuff the absolute maximum into the overhead bins. Then force us to gate check our bags that we were planning on controlling. Now you want to charge us for the carry on by making us check it with ticketing. GIVE IT UP! Take off the charges for checked luggage and raise the price of the tickets if you must. But don't treat us like idiots and assume we don't get it. No snacks, not even a teensy bag of pretzels, $7 for a drink, $7 for a meal, and $7 for a "nap sack" which contains a sleazy pillow and blanket. This cartoon was honestly in the paper that we were reading on the plane that day. Too true. Thus ends my rant.


No comments: