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(Washington Post)   ☒ $100 for a carry on bag ☒ $1.99 for coffee? ☒ $200 change fees? ☑ Fark it, let's drive   (washingtonpost.com ) divider line
    More: Dumbass, finance director, coffee, US Airways  
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16349 clicks; posted to Main » on 12 May 2013 at 10:23 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-12 10:49:35 AM  
"...change fee represents a combination of the cost to change a ticket and the missed revenue opportunity from potentially having an empty seat...."

So they don't oversell flights?

Have to take my family of 5 from PHL to Colorado Springs this summer. It's crazy that I'm having to have a debate with myself about whether we should drive or fly.
 
2013-05-12 10:50:08 AM  

spidermilk: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

I don't really understand the 'you get treated like cattle' attitude. I have flied Southwest a lot because my hubby had their companion pass (with me as the companion flying free wherever he went) last year. Yea, you have to line up in groups. I fly other airlines for business (but not enough to get any status) and their boarding process is just a huge mob of people and whoever is the pushiest gets on first. 'Group 2' now boarding- oh great 100 people who all are supposed to get on the plane at the same moment. To make thing worse, since checking bags costs $$ everyone wants to bring two gigantic carry ons.


Most people who complain about Southwest have elite status on at least one airline. The change in that case is going from your elite airline where you board by yourself, get greeted by name and shown to your seat and then brought over a glass of wine or beer while the flight attended takes your coat and carry on and asks if you want a pillow or a snack while the rest of the plane boards. Then you have southwest where you stand in line for 15-20 minutes scramble for 2 seats together then look frantically for overhead space because the family of 8 that preboarded took up  half the plane with all their crap for their herd of children.
 
2013-05-12 10:50:19 AM  

liam76: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

Southwest treats you better than most airlines.


And as an added bonus their process lets them board the plane faster and in the end is a lot more logical. I flew Delta last week and a bunch of people were sitting in the wrong seats (I have no idea why, it seems they just couldn't understand how the seats were labeled but it caused a huge slowdown clusterfark in the boarding process). People who booked together didn't have seats next to each other (Yea, this is probably their fault for not understanding how to switch their seats, but maybe it also means Delta should make the process a little more logical). On both flights people asked if they could trade seats with me to sit with the person they were traveling with.
 
2013-05-12 10:50:34 AM  
My wife and I are planning on going from the Milwaukee area to Ruckersville VA. in August for a wedding, and we only plan on being there for the weekend.  Flying round trip, with tickets purchased now, is $485 per person.  We figured out that between flights (plural - no non stop available) security and other 'delays' it would take us about 10 hours to fly.  I know we can make the drive in 13 hours.

Rent a car for the trip is about $175 for a full size or luxury class car.  Gas will be about $250 for the round trip.  That makes driving there and back $425 plus food stops.  That is $60 cheaper than 1 of the 2 tickets to fly out there.

Methinks I will be driving out and back.  So what if I have to add an extra day on each side of the trip.  Its all the vacation I will get this year anyway.
 
2013-05-12 10:52:00 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: dstanley: Drive from where to where, exactly?

From here to there


Ok, how do I get from Heathrow to JFK by car?
 
2013-05-12 10:52:06 AM  

cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.


Being treated like cattle is an upgrade compared to how most airlines treat you these days.  If you can get first class you get upgraded to "being treated like a household pet."
 
2013-05-12 10:52:27 AM  
One airline used to advertise 'bags fly free'.  But they still charged me full fare for my mother-in-law.

Seriously Mom, happy day today.  May I have my head back?

rlv.zcache.com
 
2013-05-12 10:52:31 AM  

Carth: RickN99: Carth: Kibbler: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

I pay through the nose on other airlines and I'm treated like cattle.

Charging $100 for a carry-on bag should be labelled a deceptive practice.  Virtually no one flies without any luggage at all, and if you do, it's assumed you're a terrorist.  So you have to take luggage.  If an airline charges $200 for a ticket, and then $100 even for a carry-on, then they are clearly, obviously, transparently trying to deceive you about the actual price.  That should be criminal.

It is often cheaper to just UPS your clothes to your destination. Added bonus you can send your camera equipment without worrying about it getting stolen or broken by baggage throwers.

Lots of Youtube videos showing violent UPS deliveries.  I don't know how well my camera would take a 10 foot toss onto a porch.

UPS offers insurance up to $50,000 if you declare the amount when you ship it. Airlines typically won't cover anything over a few hundred. If your camera equipment costs more than $50k you should consider flying private or break it up into two shipments.


How does having insurance stop it from being stolen or broken?  Which was your point, I believe -- that those things would not happen with UPS.
 
2013-05-12 10:54:17 AM  

Chevello: "...change fee represents a combination of the cost to change a ticket and the missed revenue opportunity from potentially having an empty seat...."

So they don't oversell flights?

Have to take my family of 5 from PHL to Colorado Springs this summer. It's crazy that I'm having to have a debate with myself about whether we should drive or fly.


The part I hate is having to visit family that are 1500 miles away. Flying is the only reasonable option right now (young kids). But, I just had to shell out two grand for airfare. Next time family needs to come out to us (unlikely) or we can drive to a location halfway between the two families.

Doing round trip drives is highly unfeasible only because you will spend most of your week off driving....
 
2013-05-12 10:54:43 AM  
www.ridelust.com

/Mandatory.
 
2013-05-12 10:54:47 AM  
Gore says that the only reason airlines can charge such high fees is "because passengers are so passive about it."

Exactly why everything is so damned expensive in this country. People are passive. Remember when gas prices started going through the roof in 2003? There were some sporadic protests, including some truckers blocking a freeway somewhere, and widespread grumbling, but people soon shut up and just bought gas. After all, what's the alternative, unless you want to pony up big bucks for an electric car or plug-in hybrid? In some other countries, if gas was hiked that much, protests would bring the entire infrastructure to a standstill until some big wig did something about it. Not here, though.

The result? After enjoying a couple of decades of $1-$1.30 gas (remember, there was also a big deal because most pumps weren't even programmable to register over $1.99 a gallon?), $3.50-$4 a gallon is now considered a "normal" price for gas. Of course, this extra cost for fuel spills over into pretty much everything else we buy, including airfare. But no one complains, especially not the Gulf oil states, who are building ever more extravagant digs in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

And ole W sits back at his Texas ranch and smirks.
 
2013-05-12 10:55:24 AM  
Carth: ... or broken by baggage throwers.

So you have flown with Northworst before I see...
 
2013-05-12 10:56:10 AM  

DON.MAC: Get a pilots licence and fly without the mess.

There are international treaties that cover baggage.  If they charge you and it is illegal, call the credit card company who should refund all the charges so you get a free trip.


This my 172 with extended 52 gallon tanks roughly 500 nautical miles depending on conditions headwind etc. costs less than $300 at $6.50 a gallon.

/Always try to have a 1 hour reserve
 
2013-05-12 10:56:18 AM  
$100 for a carry on bag

www.aerojockey.com

/passeners holding up the line so they can cram their oversized bags in the overhead bin are the most annoying thing about flying
 
2013-05-12 10:56:25 AM  

joshiz: So if you fly often, it pays to stick with one airline to achieve status. But often status doesn't do anything for change fees unless you are at the very top tiers - on United you would have to be 1K or Global Services for the change fees to be waived or reduced.


UA actually does not offer waived change fees for any elite members. There are scattered reports that people with Global Services status can get change fees waived with even a mediocre excuse, and that people with 1K status can get change fees waived with a good excuse and a sympathetic agent, but I have been about 1 for 20 on that front as a 1K.

On the other hand, if you fly 40k miles on Alaska Airlines, you become "MVP Gold" and don't have to pay their $75 change fee.
 
2013-05-12 10:56:27 AM  
don't like capitalism?

so go setup and run your own airline, comrade
 
2013-05-12 10:57:07 AM  

RickN99: edmo: I've taken to driving if it's 10 hours time or less for my personal travel. For business, whatever.

It's boring driving: no terrorists, food is available and prices are reasonable, no strangers fondling my nads, and once I arrive, if the driveway is full I just park on the street and walk in.

My "driving bubble" has increased dramatically.  Last year, I drove from Atlanta to Cape Cod.  This year will be Atlanta to DC.  Wifey and I make the drive part of the vacation and do touristy things along the way and not just at the destination.


That's a beautiful drive too.
 
2013-05-12 10:57:23 AM  
It was better in the old days, before airlines started trying to squeeze every penny out of you.

www.aei-ideas.org

Oh.
 
2013-05-12 10:58:59 AM  

RickN99: Carth: RickN99: Carth: Kibbler: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

I pay through the nose on other airlines and I'm treated like cattle.

Charging $100 for a carry-on bag should be labelled a deceptive practice.  Virtually no one flies without any luggage at all, and if you do, it's assumed you're a terrorist.  So you have to take luggage.  If an airline charges $200 for a ticket, and then $100 even for a carry-on, then they are clearly, obviously, transparently trying to deceive you about the actual price.  That should be criminal.

It is often cheaper to just UPS your clothes to your destination. Added bonus you can send your camera equipment without worrying about it getting stolen or broken by baggage throwers.

Lots of Youtube videos showing violent UPS deliveries.  I don't know how well my camera would take a 10 foot toss onto a porch.

UPS offers insurance up to $50,000 if you declare the amount when you ship it. Airlines typically won't cover anything over a few hundred. If your camera equipment costs more than $50k you should consider flying private or break it up into two shipments.

How does having insurance stop it from being stolen or broken?  Which was your point, I believe -- that those things would not happen with UPS.


My original statement was you don't have to worry about it getting stolen or broken, not that it never happens.

If something happens to your UPS order you buy a replacement off Amazon, get it the next day and you'll get all your money back vs an airline your SOL.  My point wasn't that it will never get stolen or broken but that it isn't a problem if it does since you are reimbursed in full value.
 
2013-05-12 10:59:15 AM  

letrole: don't like capitalism?

so go setup and run your own airline, comrade


With hookers, and blackjack.
 
2013-05-12 10:59:58 AM  

Easy Reader: RickN99: edmo: I've taken to driving if it's 10 hours time or less for my personal travel. For business, whatever.

It's boring driving: no terrorists, food is available and prices are reasonable, no strangers fondling my nads, and once I arrive, if the driveway is full I just park on the street and walk in.

My "driving bubble" has increased dramatically.  Last year, I drove from Atlanta to Cape Cod.  This year will be Atlanta to DC.  Wifey and I make the drive part of the vacation and do touristy things along the way and not just at the destination.

That's a beautiful drive too.


The way up to DC will be through the Shenandoah -- one of my favorite drives.
The way back will be through Richmond and Petersburg to do some Civil War things.
 
2013-05-12 11:00:06 AM  

cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.


Hilarious.  So not having an assigned seat is being treated like cattle, huh?  Other than that and lack of fees they're exactly the same as flying economy on any airline.  And if you're not flying economy you're either ridiculously wealthy, flying on someone else's nickel, or probably one of those doofuses who drives a Beamer and has nothing left for his 401(k).  Whichever it is, there's not much point in talking sense to you.  Have fun with your $100 carry-on fees.

But hey, if you need to feel special that badly even Southwest lets you throw some extra money away to go to the head of the line.  Then you can look back at all the cattle in the B line and think "Ha, ha.  I'm getting on first", while they all look back at you and think, "Moron."
 
2013-05-12 11:00:23 AM  

Earguy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/the-navigator-fee-h ap py-airlines-raise-the-bar-again/2013/05/09/12fa4d74-b68c-11e2-b94c -b684dda07add_story.html?tid=ts_carousel

I saw that pop up before I clicked the link, and I thought an airline was going to start charging a "navigator fee."

I hope no one from the airlines are reading this, because, you know...


Next:  Having-a-pilot fee.
 
2013-05-12 11:00:36 AM  
Have driven three round trips between NJ and Chicagoland on business in the last couple of years, about 13.5 hours driving time each way including stops. That's not even close to the point I'd consider flying.
 
2013-05-12 11:00:55 AM  

cookiefleck: liam76: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

Southwest treats you better than most airlines.

never had a problem with American Eagle.


This, amazingly enough. I've taken a few Eagle flights lately and the staff is always friendly, polite, and helpful.
Actually next week I have one leg with the mainline (AA) and three with Eagle. I'm kind of looking forward to it.
 
2013-05-12 11:01:12 AM  

edmo: I've taken to driving if it's 10 hours time or less for my personal travel. For business, whatever.

It's boring driving: no terrorists, food is available and prices are reasonable, no strangers fondling my nads, and once I arrive, if the driveway is full I just park on the street and walk in.


THIS!

Although I've taken vacations with my friend who had a Ford Explorer and we did a straight overnight run from Milwaukee out to Denver, CO. It was probably one of the most fun and memorable trips I've ever done and I would recommend someone who doesn't mind sleeping in the back of a vehicle to do this some day! We both tooks turns driving/sleeping, we listened so some awesome tunes, snacked, talked about crazy stuff, had some audio books with us and overall just had a grand time during the drive! It was WAY more memorable than any air trip I've taken! (cheaper in the long-run too as we stopped at cheap places to eat and split the gas costs).
 
2013-05-12 11:01:58 AM  
A $200 fee for a seat you are going to vacate, which they will fill with someone else ?
That some serious money for nothing for the airlines isn't it ?
If I reserved a seat and chose not to fly that day, would they fill my space I reserved ?
If so, I want the money the person payed the airlines, hey, it was my reserved space wasn't it ?
Just being an ass on Mothers day
Carry on.......
 
2013-05-12 11:02:29 AM  

letrole: don't like capitalism?

so go setup and run your own airline, comrade


How about we remove the regulation letting only US owned airlines fly between domestic destinations instead? If we could have Cathay Pacific or lufthansa fly us NY to LA i bet other airlines would have to improve their service pretty quick.
 
2013-05-12 11:03:08 AM  

ajgeek: The "fat bastard" fee isn't far off now.


Good.

/bastard
//not fat
 
2013-05-12 11:03:11 AM  
Fees I would support:

Screaming baby fee
Failure to control your kids fee
Loud annoying voice fee
Drunk asshat fee
 
2013-05-12 11:03:21 AM  

Smeggy Smurf: dstanley: Drive from where to where, exactly?

From here to there


What if I don't want to go there?
 
2013-05-12 11:03:34 AM  
Meh, I fly JetBlue and have never had a problem.

My peeve is carryons. Airlines need be enforce the rule and even reduce the acceptable size for carryons.

Oh, and women that stuff those floor length down coats in the overhead bins, filling it completely: fark you. The flight's going to Boston, not Moscow in January.
 
2013-05-12 11:03:36 AM  

letrole: don't like capitalism insufferable, bare faced greed?

so go setup and run your own airline, then I equate that with communism, comrade!

 
2013-05-12 11:04:37 AM  

bunner: letrole: don't like capitalism insufferable, bare faced greed?

so go setup and run your own airline, then I equate that with communism, comrade!


Do not feed.

/it's his surname
//really
 
2013-05-12 11:05:09 AM  

leevis: Smeggy Smurf: dstanley: Drive from where to where, exactly?

From here to there

What if I don't want to go there?


I don't think you can get there from here.
 
2013-05-12 11:05:26 AM  

Jacob_Roberson: That's it, from now on I'm going to pay Maersk to put me in a box. And shipping is already so cheap I don't mind the extra fee to not lose my container overboard in the middle of the Atlantic.

I don't know what to do inside North America though... the Mississippi has shipping traffic right? Has anyone here survived in a steel box floating up the Missouri? It's something to try.


Sounds better than the average cruise line these days :)
 
2013-05-12 11:07:55 AM  

sethen320: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

I fly for buisiness...a lot. I always hear that argument about Southwest but I don't understand it. I get treated the same with SW as I do with any other airline.

If you're referring to the seating arrangements somehow, I can tell you its not the big deal some drama queens make it out to be.


The people that are complaining about SW surely have elite status elsewhere. Elite status makes an enormous difference in the flying experience.
 
2013-05-12 11:08:48 AM  

aerojockey: $100 for a carry on bag

[www.aerojockey.com image 379x214]

/passeners holding up the line so they can cram their oversized bags in the overhead bin are the most annoying thing about flying


Perhaps a fee for taking too long to put your damn bag away?  And another fee for taking off your f'ing coat only when you get to your seat then not being able to find a place to stuff it?  Oh and another one for when you forgot to "get that thing" out of your bag which you just put away?

*grumble*

I don't understand why the flight attendants don't take your luggage and put it up for you.  They'd do it quickly and properly so things would fit better.  It would make the whole thing just go quicker.
 
2013-05-12 11:09:41 AM  
Don't expect Congress to react.

They just gave the airlines the only favored status when it came to the sequester, putting the Air Traffic cops back on. The airlines, like Congress, can do no wrong.
 
2013-05-12 11:10:44 AM  

digistil: Elite status makes an enormous difference in the flying  living in the United $tates experience

 
2013-05-12 11:11:44 AM  
Southwest doesn't fly where I travel to the most.
 
GCD
2013-05-12 11:12:16 AM  
The entire airline industry is just a dog and pony show designed to rip the customers off at every possible opportunity.

When business is good, they use it as their excuse to charge additional fees to accommodate the additional surge in passengers.

When business takes a turn for the worse, they use it as their excuse to charge additional fees to make up for their "losses".
 
2013-05-12 11:14:29 AM  
It's things like these fees that are going to make rail a viable alternative. I do understand that it takes longer, but so does driving, however, on a train you can relax, have space, walk around, and listen to the sound of the wheels going over the steel rails. This country needs to expand it's rail base, and as well through up some regulation on the airlines, and push towards better cars that use less fuel and get the same distance out of a gallon of fuel. That's the only way this country and the various travel industries can survive.
 
2013-05-12 11:15:25 AM  

GCD: When business is good, they use it as their excuse to charge additional fees to accommodate the additional surge in passengers.

When business takes a turn for the worse, they use it as their excuse to charge additional fees to make up for their "losses".


When are we going to stand up to corporate sh*tlicks who have the balls to say "we have to do whatever we need to do to assure we make more money than last year" and say "Yeah?  We'll I guess you're sh*t out of luck." ?
 
2013-05-12 11:16:53 AM  

lucksi: I'm soo glad that we have high speed rail over here.


We're getting it in California, too!  Yay!
 
2013-05-12 11:17:04 AM  
Not to be outdone, Frontier Airlines announced that for tickets booked anywhere except on its Web site, it would raise its luggage charges and impose a fee of up to $100 for certain carry-on bags

If you want to fly on Southwest, you can't book anywhere but on their website, They are not available on Travelocity, Expedia etc.

The actual fee for a carry on in the overhead bin is going to be $25, but only if you didn't buy your ticket on the flyfrontier website, buy it on the website and it is free. also a carry on that fits under the seat in front of you is free.

the $100 fee is for those that check in and decide that their carryon will fit under the seat in front of them, and discover when they get to the airplane that it will not.

/ full disclosure: Frontier Employee not in any way authorized to speak on their behalf.
 
2013-05-12 11:17:45 AM  
I'm 6'5" and my shoulders are wider than many domestic doors.

I do not fold up. I don't like the idea of flying in anything less than Virgin's upgraded class.

I also have an interest in JC Penny continuing to exist. They're the only major company making apparel my size available in quality at reasonable prices. Casual Male might carry my size but they're charging Nordstrom prices for K-Mart clothing. And farking stop telling me to shop the internet, you farking midgets are size discriminators.
 
2013-05-12 11:18:37 AM  

edflyer: It's things like these fees that are going to make rail a viable alternative. I do understand that it takes longer, but so does driving, however, on a train you can relax, have space, walk around, and listen to the sound of the wheels going over the steel rails. This country needs to expand it's rail base, and as well through up some regulation on the airlines, and push towards better cars that use less fuel and get the same distance out of a gallon of fuel. That's the only way this country and the various travel industries can survive.


Rails won't be a viable alternative while half the country believes it's a socialist takeover of the country.
 
2013-05-12 11:19:04 AM  
Just drove from Cleveland to Memphis and back. Beautiful scenery, 2500 songs on the car hard drive.  Great road trip.
 
2013-05-12 11:20:14 AM  

RickN99: Carth: RickN99: Carth: Kibbler: cookiefleck: MagicBus: If you're an infrequent flier, just fly Southwest.  No change fees, no checked bag fees, and just as good as the other airlines if you're not up front.

yeah, you get treated like cattle tho.

I pay through the nose on other airlines and I'm treated like cattle.

Charging $100 for a carry-on bag should be labelled a deceptive practice.  Virtually no one flies without any luggage at all, and if you do, it's assumed you're a terrorist.  So you have to take luggage.  If an airline charges $200 for a ticket, and then $100 even for a carry-on, then they are clearly, obviously, transparently trying to deceive you about the actual price.  That should be criminal.

It is often cheaper to just UPS your clothes to your destination. Added bonus you can send your camera equipment without worrying about it getting stolen or broken by baggage throwers.

Lots of Youtube videos showing violent UPS deliveries.  I don't know how well my camera would take a 10 foot toss onto a porch.

UPS offers insurance up to $50,000 if you declare the amount when you ship it. Airlines typically won't cover anything over a few hundred. If your camera equipment costs more than $50k you should consider flying private or break it up into two shipments.

How does having insurance stop it from being stolen or broken?  Which was your point, I believe -- that those things would not happen with UPS.


Accidents (as well as malicious acts) can always happen, but if you look at the numbers (I don't remember where I saw them) UPS and FedEx have a much better track record than the airlines.

My usual travel strategy for domestic flights is to send a box of clothing and other travel items via FedEx Ground five business days in advance, using the clothing as padding for any delicate items that may also be in the box, and then carry all of my essentials and particularly valuable items (one day's worth of clothes, my laptop, my camera, and my chargers) on the plane in a backpack.  The only times I've gotten messed up by doing that were when I accidentally shipped the box a day late, or when there wasn't a FedEx location near my destination and I had to hike a bit to ship everything back.  But even so, the convenience of not having to haul so much crap through the airport and various ground connections is almost always worth it, and in many cases it's a few dollars cheaper than the checked bag fees.

/in my experience, FedEx Ground is usually cheaper than UPS
 
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