There was a time when flying was the preserve of the rich and famous, but since the introduction of jet aircraft, then large passenger planes like the Boeing 747, the real price of airfares has been coming down. Back when fares were higher airlines threw in a lot of freebies to entice passengers to fly with them.
Once, when you paid for your flight, you would a travel bag in which you could place all the necessities for your flight. Once on board you would be given a souvenir, and if it was a long haul flight, it usually comprised of a face mask for sleeping and oversocks so you could slip off your shoes and wander around the cabin in comfort. There was no in-flight entertainment, but meals were served with real cutlery. Although you paid for alcohol, you could take your duty free on board and drink that.
Now that airlines are sleek and saving costs, many of those niceties have disappeared. To be fair, flying is, generally, now more comfortable, and onboard entertainment has been taken to almost ridiculous levels.
As fares have dropped, fees have increased, particularly with the no frills airlines embracing the ‘user pays’ system of charging you extra for just about everything, or perhaps even everything – with Irish airline Ryanair threatening to charge passengers to use their onboard toilets. Is there an alternative to not using the toilets should you have an urgent need, and no change? Or will Ryanair’s passenger pack include an incontinence pad or two?
Now, according to CNN’s A. Pawlowski “American Airlines has introduced the “Boarding and Flexibility Package,” which allows passengers who buy tickets on the carrier’s website also to purchase perks that include being among the first to board a flight. The “introductory price” for the package ranges from $9 to $19 one way and varies based on the market and routing.”
That same report says that (bizarrely): “Passengers who pay the early boarding fee won’t be the very first on the plane. That privilege will still be reserved for American’s elite status members.”
To me, that seems like you are paying a fee for no service. I’m struggling to find the logic for charging a premium for a service that you won’t be entitled to use. Why don’t they start charging you for the seatbelt you’re obliged to do up? Actually, on the subject of seating, I wouldn’t mind if airlines charged passengers for reclining their seats – being a person of large mien (alright, I’m obscenely obese) and with long legs, one of my pet aversions is sitting cramped in my airline seat, then having my legs crushed by the goon in front reclining their seat so that the top of their head is situated right under my chin. Pay one hundred bucks to recline? I’d love to see that!
Originally posted 2010-06-20 14:00:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter