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    AA to begin charging for all checked bags

    American Airlines just announced today that starting June 15th they will be charging $15 for the first checked bag each way! For a family of four with only one checked bag for each person that's an extra $120. Will this change anybody's travel plans? As a resident of DFW, I was certainly disappointed to see this. Luckily, we are getting back from vacation on June 14th. If the other airlines don't follow suit with this new checked bag policy, I would seriously considered taking another airline on a connection to get to my destination rather than paying extra to fly American.

    American also announced they will be discontinuing the use of 40-45 MD-80s and 30-35 American Eagle aircraft, which will reduce the amount of domestic routes. I don't fly enough to use the frequent flyer program, but this decision will essentially render the value of the frequent flyer program worthless since it is likely that flights will be full. Our airline industry is in serious crisis. Layoffs were also announced today. Ironically, AA pilots picketed in DFW today for more pay. Talk about a poor day to choose to picket on.

    #2
    I think the whole problem is that airfare is way too cheap. I can fly roundtrip to Florida today for WAY less than it cost 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. Airfare rates have not risen with inflation like all the costs to provide the service have. It has left the airlines struggling, having to cut service and amenities and now having to nickel and dime passengers with fees for changing reservations, overweight luggage, in-flight meals, fuel surcharges, security fees, etc. Just hike the prices and bring back the services that used to be provided. Make flying enjoyable again. If that means some people will no longer be able to afford flying so easily, so be it.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      Whether your theory is right or not, I agree that airlines should just raise their airfare instead of nickle and diming people to death (should be more like $20 and $100ing people to death). Just like people hate getting nickle and dimed to death at the bank I think the same will be true with the airlines. On the other hand, if you can get away with not being nickle and dimed to death then you can save on the airfare as well.

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        #4
        What happens when they inevitably lose your luggage? Will you get reimbursed? Otherwise you have just paid for the privilege of being underwear-less away from home

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          #5
          I just read an article in Yahoo yesterday that Airline customer service is very poorly rated. I was unable to find it but I found another today that blames this state of affairs on understaffing.

          What I'm getting at is that airlines know that they have the public over a barrel because they don't really compete with each other. Like most industries, they collude. So when one imposes new charges like the one described in the OP, you can bet the others will follow.

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            #6
            We need high speed train systems in the United States. I live in Southern Oregon and if I want to visit Portland which on the other side of the state from me I have basically two choices I can fly or drive. If I drive it takes 4.5 hours. If I fly because of security check in, waiting for baggage, driving out of the airport and other stuff it takes me about 3.5 hours. It costs me around $500 dollars round trip to fly or one tank of gas $50 dollars.

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              #7
              Originally posted by rooskers View Post
              If I drive it takes 4.5 hours. If I fly because of security check in, waiting for baggage, driving out of the airport and other stuff it takes me about 3.5 hours.
              And that's only if the flight leaves on time, which it hardly ever does. When I flew to Florida 2 weeks ago, our flight was delayed an hour. In your example, that would make the travel time the same as driving.

              I think the problem is people have come to view air travel as a routine thing and that is because of what I said above, it is too cheap.

              A lot of people around here fly when going to Washington, D.C. It makes no sense at all IMO. Washington is a 3 hour drive. If you have to drive to the airport, park your car, take a shuttle to the terminal and check in 2 hours before your flight, you've already sucked up 3 hours right there. Add in flight time and baggage claim and car rental on the other end and it is way quicker to drive. And driving is cheaper, as rooskers illustrated.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                I think the whole problem is that airfare is way too cheap. I can fly roundtrip to Florida today for WAY less than it cost 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. Airfare rates have not risen with inflation like all the costs to provide the service have. It has left the airlines struggling, having to cut service and amenities and now having to nickel and dime passengers with fees for changing reservations, overweight luggage, in-flight meals, fuel surcharges, security fees, etc. Just hike the prices and bring back the services that used to be provided. Make flying enjoyable again. If that means some people will no longer be able to afford flying so easily, so be it.
                I think the problem is that legacy carriers like United, AA, Delta, etc are not set up to compete with the low cost carriers (Southwest, Airtran, etc). What we are witnessing is the inevitable whittling away of the bloated legacy carriers in favor of the lower frills, more streamlined ones. There may be room for 1 or 2 legacy carriers in the market but right now there are far too many.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by noppenbd View Post
                  I think the problem is that legacy carriers like United, AA, Delta, etc are not set up to compete with the low cost carriers (Southwest, Airtran, etc).
                  I don't entirely agree. I see that all carriers have artificially kept fares down by cutting more and more services. No more in-flight food (unless you pay extra) and then being stuck eating with flimsy plasticware. Limited seating choices. Being herded like cattle on Southwest. Endless delays. Understaffing. Limited flights and total elimination of certain routes.

                  I'd much rather pay a higher price and get better service, a decent meal, friendly efficient staff, an orderly boarding process, etc.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Exile
                    I just read an article in Yahoo yesterday that Airline customer service is very poorly rated.
                    Good Morning America said this morning that the IRS had a significantly higher customer satisfaction rating than the airlines (I forgot the percentages).

                    The local news said that at current gas prices the cost to drive from Dallas to Chicago is $126 in a mid-size car. I think there will be a lot of transition from flying to driving for the leisure traveler, especially on the shorter routes.

                    Originally posted by noppenbd
                    I think the problem is that legacy carriers like United, AA, Delta, etc are not set up to compete with the low cost carriers (Southwest, Airtran, etc). What we are witnessing is the inevitable whittling away of the bloated legacy carriers in favor of the lower frills, more streamlined ones. There may be room for 1 or 2 legacy carriers in the market but right now there are far too many.
                    Good Morning America also interviewed former American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall this morning. He said the problems started after deregulation and the fact that not all airlines would match price increases. To me, that's just an excuse that your company is not able to adapt to the market and when that happens companies get left behind and forced out of business. I can't comprehend how 1) airlines can lose so much money and remain in business and 2) how anybody would invest their money in companies that lose that much money.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I heard this on CNN this morning. I don't really travel by air very much but when I do I never check my bag. I've never really trusted them for that. I've heard of too many people losing their bags. I just play tetris with my bag and just use different folding/rolling methods. I agree that they should just raise the price of the airfare though. It would be easier instead of trying to do the math each time you need to fly.

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                        #12
                        Northwest Airlines is allowing 1 free bag but charging $100 for a 2nd bag.

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                          #13
                          How much weight can those overhead bins handle?

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                            #14
                            From a 2006 USA Today blog:

                            Airlines are also tightening the rules on checked luggage. British Airways is lowering the maximum weight for checked luggage from 70 pounds to 50 pounds in October.

                            Starting September, Continental Airlines also is cutting its weight limit on checked bags to 70 pounds from 100 pounds. Late last year, United made a similar change on international routes, cutting it's limit to 50 pounds from 70 pounds. American dropped to 50 pounds from 70 pounds.
                            I couldn't find any specs on boeing.com or airbus.com that mentioned how much weight the bins could actually hold.

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