Checking in for a flight this past weekend made me a little, well, a lot nauseous. There are so many choices to pay more for less; I simply had to write about it. Maybe I have been spoiled flying my tried and true Delta Airlines (with my gold Delta SkyMiles account), I was out of touch with decisions most travelers must make before boarding a flight. For the right price, anything is possible.
Bad enough they pack them in like cattle on a truck on their way to market, fewer flights to your destination and let’s not even start on the rattan “snack” tray they call food. It is no longer the Pan Am days of yesteryear when real cocktails drunk by people dressed in real clothes that actually looked forward to flying and considered the experience a part of the holiday. Folks…it’s all downhill. What was once a privilege for the frequent flyers to make life a little easier is now up for sale. Early boarding was once saved for families with children and people who needed extra time to get comfy in their seats before the hoard of travelers rushed in with their “carry-on’s” to mark their space like new dogs in heat in the neighborhood. Of course, let’s not forget that those first class travelers also get to board whenever via the special roped area for “priority” guest.
For $9, you can join in on the fun and beat the rest of us to store your carry-on first. That is of course if you chose not to spend the hefty $25 per bag fee to have rough and tumble union workers store your precious cargo in the belly of the plane. New to the “pay as you go” lineup is the choice of doubling your miles for an additional $35.48. I would need to take the time to figure out if this is good or not and don’t feel I need to because securing a free flight anywhere with those miles is next to impossible, unless of course you pick the “whenever miles” which are twice the mile price as the standard option, which again, never seems to be available. Not even if you are booking things a year ahead of time, not to mention the “black out dates” which always happen when most people want to cash in and save a little. Why wouldn’t they make it a flat $35, what’s the .48 cents for? And if all of hoopla at the gate is just too much, $50 will get you into the Admirals Club. Not the real one for those frequent flyers with special cards, but the mass version for the extra bucks. Now, even people wearing track suits get in for the right price.
Bottom line, flying isn’t what it use to be, at least not in this continent. I’m sure they are in desperate need of making money, but feeling like you are nickeled and dimed to death just doesn’t feel right. Even that term is out of date because in essence, we really get dollared and Amexed to death now.