Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 5, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

THE FRIENDLY SKIES....Here's the latest news from the airline industry's continuing effort to piss off the most people for the least return:

United Airlines will begin charging some passengers $50 to check in a second piece of luggage on domestic round-trip flights, becoming the first big carrier to impose a fee for a service that has long been included in the price of a ticket.

As of late Monday no other major carrier had followed United, but some analysts said that if the move didn't generate significant resistance from consumers, the traditional two-free-bag rule was likely to go the way of other amenities such as free meals and pillows.

Sounds like a boon for makers of large suitcases.

Kevin Drum 11:58 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (81)

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Comments

No, because there's a 50lb limit (used to be 2 bags 70lb total no one bag over 50lb.) So you'd better pack light.

Posted by: SP on February 5, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like a boon for makers of large suitcases.

Yeah but they also have a weight limit for bags.

Posted by: Tripp on February 5, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Arrgggg. Curse you SP!

Posted by: Tripp on February 5, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

They already have a fee for oversize (rather, over-weight) bags. So bigger bages don't help either. It just means people will try to board with more/bigger carry-ons.

They could just make it weight based - that is their main issue anyway. Everyone gets 75lbs or something.


Posted by: kis on February 5, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone mentioned the weight limit?

Posted by: chance on February 5, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

Just mail it.

Posted by: Brendan on February 5, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

$50??? I heard this on the radio and thought it wasn't such a bad idea if it were five bucks or so, but sweet christ!

Why don't they charge the self-important jackasses who make me stand there waiting in the aisle with a crick in my neck while they wrestle the streamlined equivalent of a steamertrunk out of the overhead compartment so they don't have to wait at the baggage claim for ten minutes.

Posted by: Jim on February 5, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Next thing you know we'll be pumping our own gas.

Then comes standing in the aisles holding commuter straps, like on the subway.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 5, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget about the weight limits.

Posted by: Day late, dollar short on February 5, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

The real wonder is how airline management universally fails to see its own failings, no matter how large or blatant those failings might be. Charging for a second bag is an obvious measure to piss off your customers--to everyone except the braintrusts at United.

On the other hand, all of this is really just the expected outcome of deregulation and the American public's emphatic demand for cheap air fares no matter what the cost.

Posted by: Derelict on February 5, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Obvious solution - board the aircraft wearing seven shirts at once. No luggage required!

Posted by: ajay on February 5, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't aimed at the business traveler is it? I mean, they zip in and out with one bag... This is meant to target the vacationer - especially those with kids. I paid $25 to AA in March 2007 for a 53 lb. bag (MF'ers) and this is friggin' lunacy...

Posted by: rusrus on February 5, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'm all for it. Why should I subsidize folks who can't live for a week without packing the kitchen sink? You want to take a lot of stuff? Fine. Why should I subsidize that, though?

Posted by: jim on February 5, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and fuck Aunt Edna! She can visit her own damn self...!

Posted by: rusrus on February 5, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

"some analysts said that if the move didn't generate significant resistance from consumers"

Sounds like a challenge!

Posted by: reino on February 5, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Increase or decrease the luggage weight allowance according to the passenger's weight.

A ticket gets you 300 pounds total luggage/lardage.

Posted by: duh on February 5, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

duh, that's a good idea. Just weigh everything and charge by the pound.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 5, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

This is already the norm for European discount carriers like Ryanair. Except, of course, they offer discount fares. In America, we get discount service at full price.

Any wonder why Southwest is the most consistently profitable U.S. carrier?

Posted by: Tokyokie on February 5, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't mind a sensible policy, like $10 for the first extra bag, and something steeper for the second one. Or $2 for every pound over the weight allowance.

But these sharp-edge 'gotcha' conditions will make me avoid an airline. United's $50 is one hell of a steep hit for a second bag. American's $25 for being 3 pounds over the limit (per rusrus, above), ditto.

Any airline that's going to nail me that hard for an overage can just forget any chance at my business.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on February 5, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Here's another way for United to save lots of money -- on the longer flights, take all the planes up to 40,000 feet then shut the engines off. Glide the plane down to around 10,000 feet, take it back up & repeat.

Hell on babies' ears, but should be a real fuel saver.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on February 5, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

The "some people" phrase is used as it only applies to the little people. First Class and the like get two free bags.

Posted by: Mart on February 5, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

These guys are leading the airline industry down the same path as the US automakers have gone.

Posted by: etaoin on February 5, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

United could make a hell of a lot more, given their past baggage history, by selling baggage insurance policies.

Tokyokie, living in Dallas, I can tell you Southwest isn't necessarily everything it's cracked up to be. I normally take spring vacations in the Southwest, and I can fly from here to either Phoenix or Ontario (San Bernardino) cheaper on American.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 5, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ain't that the truth.

Posted by: Sharon on February 5, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Another victory for the War on Tourism!

Posted by: Avedon on February 5, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it hits people with kids necessarily - they'll each have a one bag allowance as well (except for lap babies). Just wait until you here the complaints from golfers and skiers, however.

Posted by: PaminBB on February 5, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like a boon for airlines other than United.

Posted by: jill on February 5, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, one bag. I get it. But there's no limit to how much it can weigh, right? (ducks)

Posted by: Jamey on February 5, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm all for it. Why should I subsidize folks who can't live for a week without packing the kitchen sink? You want to take a lot of stuff? Fine. Why should I subsidize that, though?"

Uh, ever tried to get skis into a regular suitcase? Or pack clothing in a ski bag?

Posted by: deja pseu on February 5, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm really fat, so Southwest makes me buy two seats. But it's okay, because that means I also get two meals.

Posted by: Jamey on February 5, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why not charge passengers by the pound as well?

Posted by: skinny dude on February 5, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

It's another race for the bottom. Sort of an inverse competition between airlines for the honor of providing the least service.

On some long haul airlines advance seat assignments are history--I'm not talking about Southwestern. Next they will install hand rails and you'll have to pay extra to have a seat.

Posted by: Cycledoc on February 5, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

If you go to the United site and look at their release, this cost per extra bag is only for those flying on non-refundable, domestic, economy fares.

Now, that doesn't mean they won't tighten the screws later.

I don't agree with it and am disappointed, reason being is that United created a 'chattle'-class fare.

Gary

Posted by: Gary on February 5, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Obvious solution - board the aircraft wearing seven shirts at once. No luggage required!
Posted by: ajay on February 5, 2008 at 12:13 PM

Didn't Phineas do that in one of the Freak Brothers comics? The Idiot's Abroad, I think.

Posted by: David Eoll on February 5, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

er... make that The Idiots Abroad. Sorry for the apostrophe abuse.

Posted by: David Eoll on February 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

They might be taking their cue from European budget lines like Ryanair -- I listened to a radio interview with a professional traveler who was charged more than $500 by Ryanair to carry his oversize luggage on board a short flight from London to somewhere (like Madrid). Sending stuff in advance sometimes works, but it probably costs at least $50 to send a heavy suitcase full of clothing. The amount is low enough that it probably won't do more than make people grumble.

Posted by: Barbara on February 5, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

I used to fly United almost exclusively. In the last few years, though, more and more of my travel $s have gone to American or Continental. I still have some miles banked on United that I need to use up, but after that I'll probably dump them entirely.

Posted by: lux on February 5, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

People who buy the cheapest possible ticket have no one to blame but themselves. The relentless price competition has pushed the airlines to this point. Back when prices were regulated they were plenty happy to provide excellent service. Now, no one is willing to pay extra for good service except the folks up in business class. American used to have extra legroom in coach in order to get customer loyalty. It sure made me loyal, but it didn't work on anyone else so they got rid of it.

Ask yourself this, would you prefer they got rid of the second bag fee, or raised _everyone's_ ticket price $5? Most people don't bring two bags and everyone wants to pay less so the obvious answer is for United to stick it to people with extra luggage. And by the way, on United, they charge you for extra legroom, too. They call it "Economy Plus."

Posted by: DCreader on February 5, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

"...if the move didn't generate significant resistance from consumers..."

How is this measured? I went to the United site and saw no obvious way to provide feedback. How would they know that I'm not flying United because of this policy, as opposed to the myriad other reasons not to fly United?

BTW, I've expressed my resistance in my blog (follow the URL for my name), but I doubt it will be measured.

Posted by: PonB on February 5, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

DC reader nailed it.

We want all the amenities from the pre-dereg days -- but also the lowest possible prices.

Forced to choose between the two, passengers much prefer cheap fares over amenities.

All United is doing is unbundling the cost associated with allowing passengers two checked bags when most of us try to avoid checking any.

Be the passenger who imposes extra costs and United will make you pay.

It's annoying as hell but fair.

Posted by: Auto on February 5, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here's what you do. You board with one carry-on and inside that carry-on is one small collapsible additional carry-on. Then you remove the four shirts you're wearing, the thin pants under the looser pants, the five pairs of underwear and four pairs of sox, then pack that up.

At least, that's what you could do before 9/11. Five pairs of underwear will probably rate you a nice proctological search.

Posted by: The Critic on February 5, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Viva High Speed Rail!
No need to check bags, arrive an hour ahead, navigate through some monstrosity of an airport. Just a comfortable, serene, and safe ride.

Posted by: SusanaSanJuan on February 5, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

This is a stealth increase of fares to vacation and family travelers (who seek lowest prices) while not raising prices to business travelers (who tend to travel light).

Posted by: Bloix on February 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

How many bags does one need? We have two small children; we just flew from the West coast to the East for two weeks to visit grandparents. We had: 1 suitcase with clothing for two adults; 1 suitcase with clothing for two kids; 2 portable beds; 1 bag with Christmas gifts; 1 bag with thick jackets & hats for the winter weather. Is that really so unreasonable? The tickets are already so expensive.

Posted by: Masha on February 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

And for only an additional $15 they'll even make a good effort for the bag to actually arrive at your destination.

Posted by: puppet10 on February 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have a problem with it in general. As some people have noted it would be good if they came up with a more reasonable fee structure for such things with fewer sharp edges. The sharp edges with big fee jumps for going slightly over are just a way to maximize revenue by catching people out where they have no choice but to pay.

$50 for another big bag, however, sounds reasonable. That 53 pound $25 bag example sounds like a gotcha profit maximizer.

I have no problem with them charging people for skis, surfboards, etc. Guess what the extra handling and weight of such items costs the airlines money, why should the other passengers be pitching in to pay for it?

But hey these are the major airlines. They have entirely outsmarted themselves with their price structures. See how one way tickets often cost more than round trips. There is absolutely no set of circumstances that can get that to make sense except that they just hope some people are stupid and buy one way tickets.

Posted by: jefff on February 5, 2008 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

And ANOTHER thing, after I paid my $25 for my oversized luggage, it came-out of the hopper with black shit all over it... Dammit! I friggin' hate having those monkeys touching my shit - they should just load it all into the woodchipper and be done with it. If that's not enough, they can piss on the shreds... Service? Hardly... Our standards have sunk to the bottom. Now, with nothing left to take-away, they need to charge more for less. Typical.

Posted by: rusrus on February 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

i'd heard the fee would only be for non-refundable economy passengers

Posted by: jenny on February 5, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I bet golf clubs still fly free.

Posted by: Joe on February 5, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't they just charge passengers by the pound as well? Why should I subsidize tall people who probably already earn bigger salaries than I do because of their height advantage? And if I have the self-discipline to starve myself down to 100 pounds, why shouldn't my all-American spirit of git 'er done save me some bucks? /sarcasm

Really, there is a pain point where people will weigh the advantages of air travel against the cost, hassle, discomfort, humiliation, unpredictable delays and blood clots, and decide against it so frequently that they won't make enough money to keep flying.

Posted by: cowalker on February 5, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

Do what Bush does in the thread above and append a signing statement to your payment.

Posted by: Bob M on February 5, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

...and don't forget the in-flight cell phone use we're going to be submitted to within the coming months.

Some airline exec put it nicely not long ago == if you're an economy traveler, just treat the airline like any other mode of public transportation and set your expectations accordingly.

I guess this means you get to piss in the corners and stuff.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on February 5, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'll do you one better:

curb-side check-in, long a convenience for those who never understood why anybody would choose to wait on line inside with bags in tow when the same service could be done at the curb for just a couple of bucks to the bell cap, is no longer "free;" American Airlines now charges you $2/bag to do something that forever was free (standard tipping for the service was usually $1 or $2 per bag.) I know I know. The economics haven't changed all that much. But the bell caps are pissed off because you have now directly taken money out of their pockets for doing the same thing they have been doing for years. But the airlines had to some how manage to get their cut.

F**kin' MBAs.

Posted by: ny patriot on February 5, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

I predict it won't be long before the airlines will be weighing you and assessing your fare based on body mass.

Better start that diet!

Posted by: Asterix on February 5, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Ask yourself this, would you prefer they got rid of the second bag fee, or raised _everyone's_ ticket price $5?

I'd rather they raised everyone's ticket price. Nickel and dimeing makes a company look worse than slightly higher prices. I won't buy headphones from an airline out of principle. I'd rather they charged me $5 extra for a ticket and gave them to me for "free". When I'm dropping $250-$300 for a plane ticket, I usually won't care about an extra five bucks.

Same thing with $200/night hotel rooms that charge me for internet service (and crappy 10.0 MBPS wired service at that). Just make the room $210/night and make me think I'm getting the access for free. Or better yet, just freaking give it to me for free.

I'm primarily a business traveler so this really won't affect me either way. I rarely check two bags, and even if I had to, I wouldn't be paying for it. It may screw me at times like Christmas, though, especially if I want to bring my clubs home.

Posted by: Seitz on February 5, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

I rarely check two bags, and even if I had to, I wouldn't be paying for it.

Which is to say, it gets charged to clients.

Posted by: Seitz on February 5, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't they charge the self-important jackasses who make me stand there waiting in the aisle with a crick in my neck while they wrestle the streamlined equivalent of a steamertrunk out of the overhead compartment so they don't have to wait at the baggage claim for ten minutes.

Word.
Boarding a plane takes an eternity these days because of the my-time's-too-important jerks who would duct-tape a handle to a refrigerator box and cram it into the overhead compartment if they could get away with it.

Posted by: Mike G on February 5, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Auto/DCReader: I'd much rather United followed the Ryanairs of the Euro world by plastering advertising on the seat trays, inside luggage bins, etc., rather than charging me for an extra checked bag.

I'm not a skiier, but I am a hiker/backpacker, and often have to use two checked bags.

As for the "only nonrefundable economy flights," what you're saying is that everybody who uses a fare-shopper website like Expedia is screwed.

There, there's the real world translation.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 5, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

This is almost as bad as the ban on liquids. Whose idea was that really? Perhaps the airport shops who
saw a chance to force their overpriced beverages on travelers by preventing them from bringing their own coffee, water, etc from home?

Posted by: Figaro on February 5, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

New United ad slogan: We love to charge — and it shows....

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 5, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

I remember when the meal became a snack which finally became one cup of soda and a tiny packet of pretzels.

At that point I started buying a $5.00 can of Macadamia nuts on the way to the airport. When everyone else was sucking a pretzel I'd pop open the nuts.

I tried selling some for $1 a handful but the stewardess didn't like that. Giving them away was popular though.

Posted by: Tripp on February 5, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Figaro,

This is almost as bad as the ban on liquids. Whose idea was that really?

I think it had something to do with the weight limit.

Posted by: Tripp on February 5, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Soon, the airlines will be banning passangers altogether . . .

Posted by: rea on February 5, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Living out here in the boonies where we are limited to Skywest puddle jumpers they routinely leave our baggage behind in SLC because they are 50 seat "commuter" aircraft and don't have enough baggage space. I've never had a bag come home with me from SLC - always a day or two later. Service it ain't....

Posted by: theexog on February 5, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Spirit Airlines charges for every bag. It used to be $10 ($5 if you prepaid online, but their website never works) but they just raised it to $20. Their fares are pretty cheap, though. Then again, every time I fly them I'm pretty sure I'm going to die.

I used to rarely check my bags until the ban on liquids - if I'm traveling longer than a long weekend now I have to check my bags OR buy everything when I arrive and then toss it before I leave.


Posted by: anony on February 5, 2008 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

everyone should just by an "it" from mr garrison. its alot less painful than using the airlines.

Posted by: ron on February 5, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Some airline exec put it nicely not long ago == if you're an economy traveler, just treat the airline like any other mode of public transportation and set your expectations accordingly. I guess this means you get to piss in the corners and stuff.-Hemlock for Gadflies

Nah, they will taser your ass if you do that... before you can finish!

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 5, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

* "nonrefundable economy tickets" are more-or-less the only reasonably priced air tickets on the major carriers -- this is what you get unless you want to pay double or more the price of the nonrefundable fare.

* Children's car seats and strollers, though, still get an exemption for those traveling with children. But I'll bet that a lot of parents won't realize this, and will shop elsewhere to avoid the charges.

* The best luggage under the new regime will be not only large, but light -- for some large bags, you can give up 25% of the 50 lb weight limit just for the weight of your luggage. But you know, if you're going to check bags, this is the best choice anyway, just for the hassle factor.

* The other choice for the new regime will be the largest carry-on allowed under the rules -- which will just slow down boarding and make for more delays... This will especially be true for flights in and out of ski/golf destinations, where passengers will be checking their skis/clubs giving no choice but to pay the fee or stick with a carry-on for the rest of their luggage.

* Airlines that don't follow suit on this are going to pick up some extra business.

* Still, driving is starting to look better and better for anything under 500 miles...

Posted by: Alex R on February 5, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

The comment about U.S. airlines going down the same path as the U.S. auto industry isn't entirely accurate. I can buy a Toyota or a Honda whenever I want. I'm stuck with the American airlines.

Now if Singapore Airlines could get us from Dubuque to Des Moines, then we'd see some changes all around and darn quick.

Posted by: Mandy Cat on February 5, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

duh, that's a good idea. Just weigh everything and charge by the pound.

Small commuter airlines, especially outside the US, already do this, and have done for years. You get on a scale with your bags, and they tell you the fare. Easy, simple, fair.

Posted by: craigie on February 5, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

Dalings, dalings, why this oh-so-unpleasant discussion in the age of Gulfstreams? Only the little people have to fly on airlines anymore.

Posted by: demisod on February 5, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

I'd bet that with the increased security they've had more people taking advantage of the two bags checked and checked luggage per ticket sold has risen.

Not just that bags themselves weigh and cost fuel and time to move.

Posted by: Crissa on February 5, 2008 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

As several other posters have already pointed out, the real culprit is/was deregulation, which enabled true competition for the first time and caused prices to drop significantly. I remember flying from San Francisco to New York for Xmas in the mid-seventies (i.e. before deregulation) and the fare being over $400 (probably close to $1000 adjusted for inflation).

The lower fares that resulted from deregulation made flying much more affordable, but also put a lot more pressure on the airlines to find new sources of revenue, since their costs were nevertheless still increasing.

Probably three-quarters of today's airline passengers (myself included) could not have afforded to fly pre-deregulation.

Given that more luggage means more airplane weight and more fuel consumption, I've got no problem at all with airlines charging extra for a second suitcase. Fifty pounds of luggage per person is plenty reasonable.


Posted by: mfw13 on February 5, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ever since I've lived here, United Airlines has been the dominant carrier between Hawaii and the U.S. mainland, with well over 50% of the market share. But that carrier's precipitous decline in overall quality service is the primary reason why I now fly Hawaiian Airlines almost exclusively between Honolulu and the west coast. Their in-flight service is now light years ahead of United's.

And given that Hawaiian has been aggressively pursuing new routes to the South Pacific, Australia and Asia, and further has just made a huge plane order with Airbus Industries, that airline appears poised to not only challenge United's dominance in the Hawaii-U.S. mainland market, but throughout the Pacific Rim as well.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 5, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Another self-induced wound by America's dumbest airline. The biggest factor in fuel consumption is age of the plane. The older your fleet is, the more fuel you burn. (Old planes also mean more maintenance, more downtime-- meaning more delays and canceled flights. Plus your planes look more dilapidated to passengers.)

Of the 16 carriers listed on Airsafe.com, UAL has the 12th-oldest fleet (11.7 years), ahead of only Delta, American, AmericaWest and Aloha.

A surcharge increases profit per passenger, but it also reduces customers. UAL was down 400,000 from January-October of 2007, according to Bureau of Transportation Statistics-- one of only four carriers in their top 10 to decline from 2006.

Two of the other three? Delta and American (AW and Aloha aren't in the top 10, so I don't know if they also dropped.)

Fewer passengers means fewer seats filled, meaning less revenue per mile. UAL just reported that their year-over-year "passenger load factor" in the most recent month fell from 78% (January 2007) to 76.5% (January 2008)-- another in a series of drops.

Continental (which gained over 2 million passengers during the same period UAL lost 400,000) already runs spots where stewardesses steal pillows, blankets and food from passengers. This policy just hands them another attack ad.

I won't fly UAL unless there is absolutely no other flight-- I've always agreed with Hunter Thompson, who said United required all employees to be personally approved by Pat Nixon. So I'm definitely not sorry about this turn of events

Posted by: Woody Goode on February 5, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

So pretty soon they put quarter slots for the overhead lockers. Otherwise, you hold your bag in your lap.

And then they put quarter slots on the inflight lavatories, too. With higher and higher prices,
rising with your need.

Hey - why not? It works with everything else in this country.

Posted by: LimaBN on February 5, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, c'mon, free luggage was just a ploy to help get the industry up & running. You all have credit cards, don't you? Why do you need bags at all? Every destination has clothing shops. Our preznit wants us to keep the economy running!

Posted by: Free Enterprizer on February 5, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

The problem with this is that it is going to mean a lot more overhead bin stuffage. When I'm travelling at Christmas, if I have to check one bag I check two, saving my carryon space for someone else. No more!

Posted by: tavella on February 5, 2008 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

What no one here has explained is this: does it really cost an airline $50 to toss another bag. Yeah, yeah, time is money, but overall, it's not like they add extra staff in the cargo room because one flight has more checked bags. As a cellist, I'm no longer allowed to hand check my instrument. It now has to be treated like ordinary luggage, except for the fact that it's a 150-year-old piece of wood carefully crafted. Fine. But for this privilege, I'm charged an extra fee anywhere from $60-$100. But then the same bastard who took my money turns around and flips onto the carousel. Nobody has done one thing extra. At the destination, I get the thrill of watching the cello tumble down the ramp and hope that it is still in one piece.

How many extra bags don't get checked due to the higher odds of lost luggage. Can you imagine the pleasant conversation where a bag charged $50 doesn't arrive? One more blow for company morale.

Posted by: yocoolz on February 5, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

saving my carryon space for someone else. No more! Posted by: tavella on February 5, 2008 at 8:44 PM

I thought carrion was the in-flight meal.

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Posted by: Brinley on March 9, 2010 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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