Airlines Continue To Stoop To New Lows

I was appalled when I read a story last week on NBC News where an airline attempted to charge a family an extra $60 so the parents could sit next to their 5-year old child.

Keep in mind, they booked the flight with all the seats together, but when the airline decided to change the aircraft for a different type with a different seating arrangement, they automatically re-assigned seats, then tried to stick the $60 fee to the family once they realized the change.

It’s garbage tactics like this that are exactly the reason we don’t even consider flying anymore.  I won’t unless I really have to and the prices and fees are so outrageous that many people probably have to look into a web based lender just to afford the tickets!

The last time we flew was in the spring of 2010 when we took a family vacation down to Florida.  Since then, we’ve taken a lot of different vacations and getaways and not once have I considered flying.

I don’t want to pay $50 for luggage, for which there is plenty of space allocated on the plane.

I don’t want to pay $60 so that I can sit next to and take care of my young children.

I don’t want to pay for carry-on luggage.

I don’t want the threat of having to change my flight to cost me $150.

Per seat.

I’m sick of it.

I can’t believe the projections that I see where air travel is projected to double over the next twenty five years or so.  Seriously, who wants to put up with it?

And think of this: All of the changes I listed above are within the last few years.  What do you think they’ll imagine up over the next twenty five?

It’s scary.

I’m just fine with staying in the wonderful state of Michigan to vacation.  I get more bang for my buck.  I can pay for fifteen camping nights as well as all the gas and the maintenance and storage of the camper for what I could get for airline flights to Florida or Mexico for my family.

I can leave when I want and don’t have to pay more if I choose to leave at a different time.

I don’t have to pay for luggage or anything I choose to take with me.

My wife can bring as many books, snacks, videos, or anything else it takes to entertain the kids and we we won’t be charged.

But, do you want to know the best part?  We can all sit where we want and there isn’t anybody that can charge us a nickel.

Forget the airlines.  They think they need to charge us all these ticky tack fees, but the truth is, we don’t need them to have a good vacation.

18 thoughts on “Airlines Continue To Stoop To New Lows”

  1. I completely agree. As a father of three under five, I think that I would’ve lost it if I were in this family’s situation. However, give a stranger ten minutes sitting next to my three year old and I think that they’d be very quick to switch seats with me. 🙂

    • Yeah, but that’s not fair to little kids to use them as pawns, they’re not going to understand why you’re putting them next to strangers.

      • Exactly, my thoughts as well. Was just being a bit sarcastic. I think it really does show the greed of airlines to be willing to separate families and have toddlers by themselves so they can make an extra few bucks.

  2. Airlines are finding so many different ways to make a buck and it is sickening. The last time we flew somewhere we checked our luggage and paid the additional fee and the lady at the check-in counter told us that we should figure out how to pack and travel with a carry-on. But my problem with that is that they screen all carry-ons for so many different products and if you have something that they don’t like, such as nail clippers, they will take it away from you at security. 🙁

    • Yeah, staying anywhere for more than a day or two makes it impossible to travel without a checked bag, plus the more people you have the more things you’ll need.

  3. I fly more than I ever did before for blog conferences and to meet up with other bloggers. Since I’m the one without kids, it just makes sense for me to fly to other people, but I do hate the whole airport fiasco. I travel with one carry-on and my laptop case to avoid all extra fees, but it is still frustrating.

    • I’ve heard that Spirit already charges $35 for a carryon and is going to bump that even up to $100. So even they will thwart your strategies!

  4. Each and every airline will at some point or another, take a whack at losing your luggage or stranding you on the jetway, or hosing you on fees. None of them are perfect, Southwest included.

    • Very true. It is amazing when you think about how they manage to get so many people and things from one place to another, but they sure mess it up when they fail!

  5. I agree with John S. wrote in his comment – why are they using kids like that to make more money? I have two kids under the age of four, and there’s no WAY we could fly these days with all the extra costs associated with it. And since driving long distances with kids that age is a PITA, well, we don’t stray too far from home!

  6. Unfortunately, airlines don’t seem to make that much money. I haven’t payed close attention to them, but from what I hear the profit margins are incredibly small.

    I think if we focus on the policies that are making fuel expensive (and correct said policies so that there is a higher supply available), we would see a lot lower prices on flights.

    • It does seem as if they are not raking in the money from a profit perspective, but you have to wonder, how many people are simply turned off by flying that might otherwise book some flights, by the bad policies?

  7. Just so! Thank goodness I don’t have to travel on business anymore. I won’t fly at all these days. If ya can’t get there from here by car, I don’t go. As for conferences: it’s a waiting game. Eventually most of the organizations I belong to will meet at a city within driving distance. There’s no hurry to race off to every conference.

    • Very true, though it probably wouldn’t bother me as much if I were traveling for business because I wouldn’t be paying for those costs. Though it’s no wonder that so many businesses have cut back on their travel budget and instead are putting in other ways of getting work done versus sticking employees on a plane.

  8. We only have 1 toddler, so we’ve ducked many fees…I’ve ended up flying Southwest the past two years as we found them the cheapest and most family friendly. Some airlines want to charge a % or the airport tax for lap children. When jr. has to start paying for tix we’ll consider driving, but CA is long way from the South.

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