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What's next, a fee for breathing on a plane?

Posted Friday, June 18, 2010, at 3:29 PM

I unequivocally stated in a recent column that I like to go places but I hate to travel by air and I cited my recent mind numbing, humiliating experiences with four major airports in one day as evidence of my disdain.

I was intrigued by an article in Week Magazine that asked readers to suggest what they believe might be the next charges that airlines would add to that ever growing list of egregious fees flyers must endure just to be allowed to pay for tickets.

They reported the following.

In the unlikely event of loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down. To start the flow of oxygen, simply insert your credit card to complete the transaction; $100 on-time departure fee; $25 delay complaint fee. View seating (formerly window seats), $110; Access seating (formerly aisle seats), $10; $20 to use roll-away stairs to enter or exit the aircraft in lieu of no-charge rope ladder alternative; $9 fee for bumping your head on the overhead bin as you take your seat; $3 additional penalty for looking up at the bin after you bump into it.

This kicked my hillbilly brain into road gear and caused a tsunami of new and creative ways that airlines can bilk the flying public in their never ending search for ways to enhance the bloated profits they crave.

SRO section. Passengers will be allowed to stand in the rear of the plane and talk with the flight attendants for a $20 fee that represents the usual cost of a lunch at a chain restaurant in Indiana. If passengers help serve the meals they will receive a $2 discount.

Seat Fee. Passengers will be issued an empty five gallon paint bucket from Splatto Paint Company with their boarding pass. They will turn it upside down and sit on it during the flight. If they pay a $30 seat fee then they may sit in a seat provided and use the bucket for a barf bag which incurs an additional puke payment fee of $5 whether it is used or not.

Lighting fee. There is a cost for lighting the cabin of an aircraft which airline CEOs are increasingly convinced should be borne by the flying public. Therefore, each passenger will be charged a $7 electric bill. This also helps to defer the cost of replacing light bulbs.

Fresh air fee. Fresh air is a requisite during boarding, taxiing and flight but it costs to operate the HVAC system that provides it. Ergo, passengers will be charged $10 utility bill for air-conditioning and environmental treatment fees.

Smoke and Burn Fee. When a huge airliner lands on the concrete runway the tires are suddenly forced to accelerate from 0 mph to nearly 200 mph in a microsecond. This causes rubber to be burned off and flat places appear on the tires causing a short life span such as NASCAR winners who ruin tires in a celebrative spin out. Therefore, a tire fee of $50 will be enacted the first of the month.

I wonder if airline executives have ever heard the story of the goose that laid the golden egg. Shhh or Shawnee Field will start charging also.

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Just wanted to let you know I always get a kick out of your column... it is written with lots of humor and a smidgen of truth.

Keep up the good work.

-- Posted by gardengal#1 on Mon, Jun 21, 2010, at 11:26 PM

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