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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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Default Now, United Airlines will charge for first bag

Yep, just got an e-mail that if you are flying with them after Aug. 18th, you'll get charged another $15.00 for each bag checked. I knew this would happen as soon as AA announced they were charging for checked luggage. Ok, what next?
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:43 PM
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What next? Several more airlines will fail or merge. Most or all of the rest will also start charging to check bags. Fares will rise. Leisure fares will rise the most. Service will be cut--most severely to leisure destinations. Airline workers will lose their jobs. What amenities are left will disappear or will be charged for. Everything they can do to reduce the weight of the aircraft will be done, including such seemingly insignificant things as carrying less water to flush the toilets. Seat-pocket magazines will disappear unless their weight can be justified by the price paid for the advertising in them. New, lighter, less comfortable seats will be installed with the lowest possible distance between rows. Aircraft will only be fueled for multiple segments under unusual circumstances in order to keep the gross weight lower. This will mean more frequent fueling, taking more time. Cruising speeds will be slowed in order to save fuel, thereby lengthening flights. Some smaller cities will lose service altogether. Wages in the industry will not keep up with those in the economy as a whole, thereby undermining morale and negatively affecting service.

And that's just the beginning of "what's next." Some of these things are actually happening already.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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Old June 12th, 2008, 05:37 PM
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Default Now United Airlines will Charge for First Bag

Got any more happy predictions, AR?

Judy
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Old June 12th, 2008, 05:50 PM
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On a related front, a local farmer has gone back to hitching up the team. He admits it's harder and takes much longer, but even after the cost of caring for the horses, the economic advantages are enormous given the astronomical rise in the cost of diesel.

Now it's got to the point that gasoline stations themselves are such money losers, that Exxon Mobil is unloading all of it's company owned stations. If there's no profit for the guy running the pump, we won't have to worry about cutting back our usage, because boarded up gas stations will do it for us.

It seems to me that it won't be that far off that in order to afford to cruise, one is going to have to reside within rickshaw distance of the port.

I can envision an Amish couple trotting along peacefully and the husband turning to his wife and saying, "You know Martha, they're not giving us those disdainful looks any more, are they?"

Todd
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Old June 12th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
I can envision an Amish couple trotting along peacefully and the husband turning to his wife and saying, "You know Martha, they're not giving us those disdainful looks any more, are they?"
That made me grin:)
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Old June 12th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Oh Too funny.

I don't see why the airlines don't add the cost of one bag of luggage to each airfare ticket and charge the $25 if there is more than one checked bag per person?? I think it will discourage from all the carry-on that you know, will be now inside the cabins...

My concern now is, while its not a huge deal, but on my return flight, Aug. 24th, will I get charged the $15 per bag, even though when I bought and paid for my tickets, this policy was NOT in effect yet??
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Old June 12th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna
Oh Too funny.

I don't see why the airlines don't add the cost of one bag of luggage to each airfare ticket and charge the $25 if there is more than one checked bag per person??
Well, here's the deal on that: AA has done an analysis and figured out that the $15 charge will wind up applying to only about 25% of its passengers this summer. It will rise a bit after that, because they've grandfathered in a lot of tickets that were bought before the policy was announced.

As I've said before, people on this board look at the airline industry largely through the lens of the leisure traveler, and they frequently assume that they're typical. They're not.

The airlines are quite openly applying the bag charge most heavily to infrequent fliers who buy the lowest price tickets. They're doing this to level the playing field a little bit re ticket prices. The person sitting next to you who paid a business fare three times what you did will get a pass on the $15. You still got the best deal overall, by far.

As far as bin space is concerned, because the fee will only apply to a limited number of people, it may turn out to be not too big a problem. To the extent it is, however, AA has already announced (and I'm sure the others will follow), that if the bins are full, AND if your bag meets the onboard requirements in terms of size and number of pieces, they'll gate check it for you at no charge. Typically, when you gate check a bag it gets put in a forward hold, and is brought directly up to the jetway as you deplane, eliminating the need for you to go to baggage claim.

BUT, if your bag is bigger than it should be, or if you've carried on too many items, they're gonna nick you for the bag fee.

In other news, USAirways announced today that they're gonna start charging two bucks for Cokes. See my original reply to this post.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Now United Airlines will Charge for First Bag

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisinK n J
Got any more happy predictions, AR?

Judy
The missing sign of the Apocalypse:

"The great flying machines will charge the masses for their sacks of finery, flowered togas and scores of footwear."

Oh yeah and there'll be earth quakes the moon will turn red, the sun black, stars will fall out of the sky, formal nights will be eliminated, yadda, yadda, yadda.

AR is right: We, the vacation crowd, are not the bread and butter of the airline industry. In the mid-90's they screwed the business traveler and have paid for it ever since. I sure don't like the higher fares and it may effect some of my travel but I understand them.

Take care,
Mike
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Old June 12th, 2008, 10:21 PM
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gee, maybe leasing a Cirrus S22 for my son to fly me around in is sounding more and more like a good inheritance gift to give him while I am living
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Old June 12th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
gee, maybe leasing a Cirrus S22 for my son to fly me around in is sounding more and more like a good inheritance gift to give him while I am living
Hmm, that's a turbine airplane, isn't it? So in addition to the lease, you'd have to pay for him to be type rated in it if he isn't already. Plus all the hangar fees, landing fees, etc. Plus, of course, fuel is still fuel. And, he'd always have to be available when you want to go. And would he wait for you, or come back for you?

Oh, my. The airlines are looking better and better. Sorry 'bout that.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR
Hmm, that's a turbine airplane, isn't it? So in addition to the lease, you'd have to pay for him to be type rated in it if he isn't already. Plus all the hangar fees, landing fees, etc. Plus, of course, fuel is still fuel. And, he'd always have to be available when you want to go. And would he wait for you, or come back for you?

Oh, my. The airlines are looking better and better. Sorry 'bout that.
The Cirrus SR-22 isn't a turbine airplane, all it requires is an SEL (Single Engine, Land) license with a high-performance and a complex check-off in your log book from a CFI.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:30 PM
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Default No more free soda

AR..maybe you can speak to this point....

By Jim Desmond on Friday, June 13, 2008 at 11:38 AM
The new rates are the result of the major airlines not taking care of their business. Southwest air does not charge for any bags and it is because they were bright enough to hedge their fuel consumption and are currently hedged out until 2012 at $51 per barrel. This was no secret. When oil was $60 a barrel Southwest let it be known that they were hedged at $34 and were going to continue to hedge as they saw no direction for oil except up.

Then theres this...

No more free soda
US Airways will start charging $2 for non-alcoholic beverages, such as soda and juice, in August. Probably the days of free drinks in economy class are numbered.

*Update: Budget Travel has posted an interview with American Airlines VP Mark DuPont in which he tackles the $15 bag fee, and what passengers can expect when checking in from here on out.

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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:53 PM
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Maybe deregulation wasn't such a good thing..........

Dean
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Old June 13th, 2008, 10:06 PM
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AR..it's not a turbine..my son took me for a ride in one and it is "sweet"..I'm blessed with a great son, so of course he will wait for me..it's his mother that he has to worry about
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Old June 13th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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Venice,

Here's an idea......

Let's charter your son's plane, and have him pick everyone up for the Blog2NOLA cruise. We all chip in, and get direct, chartered flights, and your son gets to visit a lot of places he's not been to.

Tom Grant on the sound system, and a fully stocked bar to boot!

Sounds good, huh?

Dean
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Old June 14th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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hmmmmmm..Air Venice......sounds nice..perhaps we can enlist Melody as our 1st flight attendant ::

our inflight entertainment will reflect regional taste with occasional live onboard artist..our house band will be New Orleans own Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue

I think my son will be a "tad" busy that time of the year flying the F-22
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Old June 14th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Venice--

I guess I just thought it was a turboprop because it's pretty peppy. Looks like you're good to go!

Phil & Liz

A couple comments about hedging fuel. . .

1. Anybody who's right about any commodoties play looks like a genius in retrospect. It's easy (and tempting) to say that any idiot should have known a year ago that what's happened to fuel prices was inevitable, but back then it wasn't so obvious. Fuel had already run up a lot, and it wasn't a sure thing that it would go through the roof the way it has. Southwest bet big and guessed right. Good for them, but it wasn't the no-brainer that it seems like now. If they'd guessed wrong they'd be paying more than everybody else and would look like idiots.

2. You need something very specific to do a deal like that--lots of cash. Southwest is and has been cash rich because their original business plan was brilliant and worked well. The legacy airlines, on the other hand, are still paying for the poor management of the 80's and 90's in ways that have prevented them from generating much in the way of cash to spend on things like arbitraged fuel. Southwest should continue to do well, as long as they don't screw up their labor relations. That will be a challenge for them in the intermediate term.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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AR..ask your son if he wants to go in on the deal with my son and you and I can split the lease payments

you are so right on target about fuel hedging..certain carriers that were in bankruptcy based their business plan on an assumption that a barrel would be in the $60-$70 range and now are in deep trouble..plus if you don't pay your bills you don't get future credit..Southwest has stayed out of bankruptcy and must pay it's fuel bills on time..

much more to come
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Old June 15th, 2008, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venice
AR..ask your son if he wants to go in on the deal with my son and you and I can split the lease payments
Don't tempt me Venice!

Of course, then there's my old college buddy Dave. He just retired as worldwide marketing head for a famous hamburger chain. Think golden. Think arches. He decided to go with the little number below for his retirement ride. As of a month or so ago he was just being type rated in it. Took delivery in February. Proud papa.

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Old June 15th, 2008, 06:57 PM
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AR..what name did your friend give his plane ?
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Old June 15th, 2008, 10:01 PM
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Haven't heard that he's given it a name.

Maybe Ronald. Or Little Mac.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna
I knew this would happen as soon as AA announced they were charging for checked luggage. Ok, what next?
Whew, dodged a bullet. I used to have some checked luggage, but all I have now is black or solid colors.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Anyone read the article inthe Washington Post.....
By Patrick SmithSaturday, June 14, 2008; Page A15
Patrick Smith is a pilot with a large commercial airline. He writes the "Ask the Pilot" travel column for Salon.com.

Don't Hate the Airlines

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...061302660.html

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Old June 18th, 2008, 10:01 AM
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Yeah, I read that piece on Sunday. Naturally, given his position as an airline pilot, I thought his most interesting point was a bit self-serving, but nevertheless worth thinking about:

He says that a big part of "good service" is safety. Arguably, it's the biggest part. And since there hasn't been a serious airline accident among US carriers in about eight years, that qualifies as pretty good service.

Knock on wood.

It's also self-serving for me to point this out, as most of you know. But whenever I listen to an ATC approach frequency at a major airport, or look at the converging dots on a computer screen representing airplanes approaching a metropolis. . .whenever I'm on a plane taxiing through labyrinths of concrete on the way to a runway or a gate, I tip my hat to the guys and gals on the other side of that Kevlar door. And whenever I hear pilots talk with quiet confidence (but not cockiness) about their day-to-day challenges and solutions, I understand that they are really on the front line of customer service, but their efforts and achievements are seldom viewed that way. They are lost in the shuffle and taken for granted as we fret about bag charges, uncomfortable seats and two-dollar Cokes.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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All I can say is CHUTZPAH, meaning nerve, on the part of the airlines. Don't they realize that many people will cut back on flying and in the end, they will lose even more money! I think I am going to buy a huge bag and stuff it in the carry on area above my seat!
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Old June 18th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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balbusta

Go ahead and try it. You'll be the first to pay the baggage charge for a carryon! And your fellow passengers will certainly appreciate your thoughtfulness and courtesy.

You think the airlines are doing this stuff because they WANT to? Has the effect of the cost of jet fuel on airline operations not yet penetrated your consciousness? This isn't chutzpah, it's survival.

If they didn't start charging more, they'd really be cutting back on flights. Like to zero.

Sheesh.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 10:12 PM
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I would rather the airlines and cruiselines just adjust their prices to cover the higher costs. Get rid of baggage charges and fuel surcharges, just charge a price that covers it all.
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