Sunday, March 28, 2010

Air Piracy

by Rich Miles

If Congress wants to do something for the American people (and there is no firm assurance that they do), what they should do is pass a law making it illegal for airlines to advertise one price, and then tack on multiple taxes and fees to jack the price way up by the time the whole tariff is revealed.

Example: I go to Scotland every late summer or early fall. I've done this for the past 10 years now. Each year it's gotten a little more expensive, and when it was only a few dollars increase per year, I grumbled about it, but paid the tab and made my trip.

However, this year, the base rates have increased several hundred dollars, and on top of that are all these stinkin' taxes and fees. One flight advertises at $816, but by the time we add on all the add-ons, it's $1358, or $542 in additional charges. Not too many years ago, the entire fare was not much more than the fees are today.

But seriously, that is the worst example I can find easily, but it's routine for the add-ons to be $100 to $175. And that's enough to piss off most flyers who are responsible for their own fares, sted being paid for by their workplaces.

And as near as one can tell, the absolute only reason this is being done by airlines is the same reason a dog licks his balls: because they can. And perhaps the worst part, or the second-worst part, is that they don't REALLY tell you what the fees are for. They say at least part is "taxes", but I suspect that's at least partly made-up, since most passengers will just assume that taxes are unavoidable, and won't complain too awfully much. As for the fees, not quite so much. These fees used to be routinely included without comment in the main advertised fares. Which were MUCH lower across the board in years past. I just checked my records from 2005, and I flew over and back for a TOTAL of $562.

The fact that at least some of these fees are for baggage is, you'll pardon the expression, a fuckin' outrage.

So Congress needs to put a stop to this - because it's a sure bet that the airlines are not going to cut it out voluntarily.

Do you ever have the feeling that you're being screwed by pretty much everyone?

1 comment:

Jack Jodell said...

Yeah---by government, big business, and the Republican Party ---constantly!