Delta Air Lines is raising bag fees again - receive a golf traveler wag of the finger
I thought we were done with all of the baggage fee hikes on airlines, but it looks like they still lack creativity in coming up with new revenue streams and would rather unfairly nail sports and family travelers who usually bring more luggage along with them during travel.
Today Delta Air Lines announced they are raising their current bag fees by $8 for the first bag and $7 for the second. This means they’re now $23 for the first bag and $32. I guarantee that within six months, they’ll round both these surcharges up to an even $10 for a $25, $35 gouge. Anyone want to take that bet?
There are some workarounds to this charge. If you’re a frequent traveler, be sure to fly the same airline (or if that isn’t possible, stay within the same alliance, whether its Star or SkyTeam and use just one frequent flyer number within that alliance). When you hit Elite Status, bag fees are waived for your first two bags on your airline as well as its alliance members. Even though I’m Elite Status on Continental, I didn’t have to pay for checked bag fees on United during the holidays.
If you don’t travel enough (about 20,000-25,000 miles a year) to get Elite, I’ve noticed that by complaining about something during check-in, sometimes the agents just roll their eyes and waive the checked bag fee just to get you out of their hair. It’s happened to me before and I didn’t even ask for it.
And while this wouldn’t work with golf clubs, you can always try and get your large suitcase through security and then check your bag at the gate once you’re told its too big. Security doesn’t seem to really monitor the size/amount of carry-on bags you slide through the system, only the contents inside. This is still the biggest loophole in the system. I’ve seen people get bags that could house a St. Bernard through security and end up checking their bags at the gate, for free.
Crude Oil may see a spike this summer if global economies continue to emerge from the recession, and this appears to be a preemptive measure from Delta. But I still think the airlines should be more creative in coming up with new ways to make their nut, aside from just reverting to increased bag fees every few months. I’d rather they didn’t serve drinks at all (other than water) on a flight that is two hours or less, and I think it would be fairer to charge for TV use (a luxury) than checked bags (a necessity).
Airlines should also get more relevant with what they are selling us on flights. How come my options are either Duty Free cartons of cigarettes or SKyMall, whom we’ve all denounced by now as mostly overpriced novelty items that will have dust collecting on it within a month (with all due respect of course to the $150 pet ramp).
So why don’t airlines throw out SkyMall and install ITunes in each monitor so you can preview and download songs while you’re in the air - or download books on Amazon.com for your Kindle.
And how come I haven’t seen WiFi on any planes yet? I thought that would be system-wide by now. They could earn some good cash with that in place given at least half the passengers on the plane are likely an internet-addict.
My other “upsell” pet peeve is when the pilot comes over the P.A. and tries to sell us a rewards credit card: “Hey boys and girls, if we don’t sign up twelve new accounts, turbulence may get really, really bad!”
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BTW, agreed on the ways airlines could raise more $...
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