Calvin Gruneck: Airline Greed
Remember the slogan – “I’m The Boss”. I believe this was United Airlines campaign advertisement during the 1970’s. When a passenger would board any of their planes, they would be offered a campaign button with those words.
Then a few years ago, when oil went to $ 140 dollars a barrel, this opened the door to airline greed. Although oil is $ 80 a barrel, you would still think oil was a $ 140 dollars a barrel by the way they operate now. Instead of relaxing their fees as the price of oil dropped, they have come up with new fees, taxes and ways to make more money off their passengers. They have reduced extra flights to many destinations, so they could increase their capacity & prices.Airlines are now charging a certain amount of money for your first, second and third bags checked in. Some are charging for carry-on bags and some are charging you for two airplane seats, if you weigh too much.
Economy class seat assignments: If you go online to make a reservation, you will see a diagram outlay of the seating arrangements for economy class. There are about four different prices for these seats depending if you want extra leg room by an emergency exist or to sit in an isle seat. I’m only 5’7”, but when I sit in an economy class seat upright, my knees will touch the back of the seat in front of me. If the person sitting in front of me tilts their seat back, I would not be able to pull my food tray down to eat. Just imagine having to sit like this on a 20 hour flight from Los Angeles to SE Asia.
There are airline saddle seats already in development, that would be like riding on the back of a motorcycle and partly standing up at the same time. Theairlines have figured out that they can pack another 40% worth of passengers onto the planes using these new seats. European and U.S. airlines are planning to use these new seats on their domesticflights . One European low-cost airline is planning to take out 3 of their 4 bathrooms to add more seats and then charge their passengers around $ 1.50 for each time they use the toilet.
Economy class will begin to look like Economy cargo class, after you compare it to Business.
Business/First class seat assignments: With their TV ads, the airlines make your Business and First class seats look like they turn into a bed in your home. Since more wealthy people are now flying in these two classes with their families, the TV ads don’t show the babies crying all night or the kids running up and down the isles screaming in the dark.
Bonus miles: This is basically putting a carrot on the end of a stick in front of a passenger to get them to fly with you & make them think they are getting a deal. In June 2008, I had earned 125,000 miles, which was good for 2 round trip tickets from Asia to America. Six months later, theairline changed their rules and it became only good for 1 roundtrip ticket. If you compare prices, you are actually paying for the bonus miles, by having to pay more for the same trip that you would with anairline that is not pushing their bonus miles.
Flight Delays: Especially during the winter months, many passengers are stranded on airplanes from 1 to 8 hours, just sitting on a taxi way at an American airport. This creates great stress for the passengers on the plane, especially those with health problems. There is legislation in the House and Senate at the present time to address this and other flight problems. I think it’s time that at least in America that the passengers begin to take control of their destiny and eliminate
airline greed. You can do this by either joining or contributing to FlyersRights.org. Thank you.
Calvin Gruneck worked through an International Law Firm in between 1988 to 1997 in Thailand. Calvin Gruneck loves traveling a lot and he is a big fan of AC/DC, U2, INXS, Tom Petty and Led Zeppelin.