airline squeeze

just when you thought airline fares were becoming reasonable, a number of major airlines are bestowing a new hefty fee on travelers — for booking tickets through customer service.
on 10/15, united airlines will begin adding a $10 fee for tickets purchased at the airport counter, $5 fee for tickets purchased via phone and $15 for mileage award tickets. it joins northwest, american and continental in charging a fee.

i had the opportunity to find out directly as i called the 800 united premier traveler number to be greeted with a 13 sec message about the fees. i could feel my blood pressure rise and was already frustrated before i spoke to someone.

aren’t there enough additional taxes & fees for air travel? the combination of ticketing, security, facilities, flight segment and fuel already mean a passenger could pay more than 25% of the typical fare towards taxes & fees as calculated by the Air Transport Association.

how did the major airlines get themselves in such a bind? how much more are they willing to do to alienate loyal travelers? i’ve been observing the independence air and united showdown…i must admit, the lower fares and less hassle are making independence air more and more appealing…


3 Comments so far

  1. Tiffany (unregistered) on September 20th, 2004 @ 9:55 am

    I haven’t flown Independence yet, but I understand that it’s quite excellent.

  2. Leslie Brown (aka D.C.'s Legal Beagle) (unregistered) on September 21st, 2004 @ 12:49 pm

    United is also charging for in-flight meals ($10). Make sure you bring soemthing to eat with you on the plane!

  3. essosikayes (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2004 @ 11:04 am

    Great piece on the airlines. t

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