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Neo

The state of the airline industry

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Recently American Airlines began charging $15 for the first checked bag and United Airlines followed suit in charging for the first checked bag as well. Now US Airways will be charging $15 for the first checked back as well and I can only assume that every other airline we've come to know and hate will be doing the same (or worse).

In the case of US Airways, they have stopped serving snacks during flight and now have stated they intend to stop serving drinks unless you cough up $2 for non-alcoholic beverages...that is unless you're paying for an overpriced first class seat.

I wonder at what point airlines will be giving you a seat that doesn't float unless you cough up the money for one that does? Perhaps they could also attach a coin slot on the lavatory...say $0.75 for entry.

With the high costs associated with flying these days have you, or will you be, exploring other options such as taking the bus or traveling by rail to your destination?

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Don't expect all those fees to last very long. For instance the baggage fee - will come under the same problem it did back when People's Express tried it. first, everyone will start bringing carryon luggage, which significantly slows turn around time, makes the FA's job much more difficult, and ties up security. Secondly, as luggage is no longer an excess charge, that gives passengers extra rights if their luggage is lost or delayed - it is now a delivery item and the airline is held to those standards. Beverages might stick better, but airlines still MUST offer water free. And all that cash changing hands becomes a major problem for cabin service and a big risk. Ultimately these are last ditch attempts by airlines desperate to make money quickly and prompt for federal bailout, but likely will end up getting more people demanding that a few of these weak airlines go away.

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I wanted to add that to avoid such fees and lost luggage, there are actually people shipping their stuff to their destinations ahead of time via DHL, UPS and Fedex. On top of that, the fee for them is cheaper than the fees charged by the airlines, not to mention those 3 don't have a history of loosing your items. If charging for bags becomes the norm, then I can see specialized services for transporting luggage popping up. The airlines are only shooting themselves in the foot on that one...

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Fly light, fly cheap... I like that idea.

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It looks like United is going to start requiring minimum stays. For example, when booking a flight with United starting October 6th, you will be required to stay anywhere from one to three nights during the week at the destination or one night on a weekend...depending on the destination.

Honestly, what do airlines care if they get their money in the end? Also to note, United is raising prices by up to $90 one-way (up to $180 per round-trip). Oh...and you will still have to pay $15 for each checked bag and the pillow is still not complementary to use. :blink:

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They're hemorrhaging and looking for any, even marginal cost cutting that will enable them to keep flying.

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When my parents fly, they buy all the stuff they need at their destination's Walmart or Kmart, then leave it for the hotel staff when they leave. They say it saves a lot of time and aggravation.

Me, I drive. I hate the inconvenience of flying. Plus, you can stop along the way and enjoy things you couldn't when you zoom overhead at Mach .83.

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When I have to travel back to the midwest, I simply drive. It's actually less money (even with the high gas prices) to drive than to fly. If there was a train that went directly to St Louis from Charlotte, I would actually try that.

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I am finding the opposite. It costs me about $120 to take the airport limo to the airport and back (I live a good 50 miles from the airport now that ours has no service). That's for 100 miles round trip. I this past month did several cross country flights - my flight to LAX from Providence netted me about 6000 miles, and was a bit over $200. Flying is way cheaper in that respect. But it depends where you are flying to.

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We are heading to Chicago next week, which will be a ten hour drive. A few years ago during the era of cheap tickets, we would have flown without thinking twice. Even with the high price of gas, it will be substantially cheaper than buying 3 tickets (our daughter is going) and renting a car once we get there.

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