10 March, 2009

Airlines are nickle-and-diming us to death!

Ryanair isn't the only airline that's thinking about this. My friend just flew from NYC to Florida on Spirit Airlines, and he said that they're contemplating such charges, too. He also told me that Spirit actually charged him for choosing his seat in advance (window as opposed to aisle). But he had to go to Florida on a family emergency so he didn't have much of a choice, as they were the cheapest rate. Although, quite honestly, he probably wound up paying just as much as the "major" airlines after all of the nickle-and-dime charges.

So when you fly, you have to pay extra to choose your seat in advance (meaning that if you want to choose aisle/window before you get to the ticket counter, you're going to have to pay). You have to pay to check your luggage. Pay to carry-on luggage. Pay airport fees, taxes, and the homeland security surcharge. Pay for beverages/meals/snacks. Pay for this, that and the other thing. While the "rates" have dropped a bit, the actual cost of travel via plane has increased, and I would posit that the increase is significant!

I'm glad that my travel requirements aren't time-sensivite and that my needs are basically met via Amtrak and other rail travel. Amtrak even provides a discount to me on their fares as I'm disabled, and with my finances they way they are right now in this horrible economy, that discount is a life-saver! (I travel via Amtrak to visit my mother every month to assist her with her disabilities and life-issues.)

Ryanair CEO Suggests Charging for Toilets - SmarterTravel.com