Talk about figurative baggage: in addition to charging passengers $15 to check-in their luggage, US Airways and United Airlines are charging an ADDITIONAL $5 if you pay to check-in that bag at the ticket counter. To avoid the $5, which you should, sheerly out of principle, you can pay the $15 online ahead of time.
I know the airlines are all hurting with The Economy, but they sure are taking advantage of all the less-than-organized travelers who can’t think ahead to bring their own food, efficiently pack a carry-on and a “personal item”, bring a set of headphones, and maybe even an empty water bottle to fill up at the water fountain rather than increase profits of bottled water companies (I have a theory those liquids terrorists also have stocks or something in Evian and Arrowhead). Besides, studies have shown that tap water is better regulated than these private bottled water companies and therefore have cleaner drinking water, for free! (I also just read that some organic foods are questionably organic; for example, a milk company claims to be organic because it lets its cows outside for five minutes a day). Let’s add up the additional fees here:
-check-in bag: $15
-fee if you pay at the counter: $5
-to-go meal at the airport: $12
-bottle of water: $2
Total: $37 (if your checked-in luggage even makes it there safely. If it doesn’t, then you need to add in the extra costs to buy yourself clothes and whatever else you may need to look presentable at that meeting or wedding).
I’ve had friends with generous salaries go “pshaw” at my frugalness but most of the time I’m not even being cheap; I’m just serving justice where justice should be served. And then, I have an extra $37 in my pocket and they don’t. Sure, maybe they can afford the $37, but I am just not in the habit of being ripped off by others. You should be the same. Pack a carry-on (and there’s no real limit on your “personal item” – it’s not your fault that your purse is as big as a suitcase), bring your quasi-organic sandwich, your waterbottle, your own headphones, and stop hauling around the airlines’ revenue baggage!