Spirit Airlines has further outraged travelers with it's announced plan to begin charging up to $45 per carry-on bag in August. The Florida-based airline already has eliminated reclining seats on some planes. Clearly they're only looking out for passengers so we don't have to worry about flying cross country with a seat back in our laps.
Sadly, outrage has become Americans default attitude towards airlines and airports.
Despite the plethora of add-on charges, airlines and airports may still be overlooking other profitable opportunities. Here are 10 suggestions that we're afraid just might become reality. (Feel free to add your own suggestions in the Comments section.)
PROPOSED AIRLINE FEES
1. Restrict Storage Time
Time spent stuffing bags into overhead bins leads to expensive delays. Think of the time that could be saved by monetizing this process. Spend more than 10 seconds stowing your bag and the bin snaps shut. Feed a coin box and the bin reopens.
2. Pay to Pee
RyanAir is already discussing charging for bathroom use. Just as with the newish baggage fees, it won't be long before other airlines follow suit. Profits from overseas flights alone could be monumental.
3. Overweight Clothing
Forget plus-sized passengers: It's time to charge for heavy clothing. Minimal clothing means colder passengers; which means more profits from blanket sales.
4. In-Flight Fees
Airlines are missing a huge opportunity by allowing passengers to use arm rests, fold-down tables and barf bags for free. In fact, why not charge an entertainment fine for the safety spiel?
5. Lost-Baggage Storage and Delivery
Somebody has to pay for storage and delivery of bags that end up in the wrong place. There's really no reason airlines should pay for your clumsiness.
PROPOSED AIRPORT FEES
6 Handicapped Transport
Wheelchairs and little carts with revolving lights don't grow on trees, you know. (Oops! England's Norwich International Airport already charges for this service.)
Passengers have 30 seconds to take off shoes, belts and other metallic substances, remove electronic devices from luggage; and prepare to show identification and boarding passes -- face up. Ready, set, go!
Travelers stranded by the Icelandic volcanic eruption were hit by brutally large parking fees when they returned. It's only natural this situation should serve as a tip off there's "gold in dem der hills." Airlines and airports could partner to intentionally delay passengers and split the resulting moola.
9. Toll Tarmacs
I can't believe some airport hasn't already thought of this. Simply place a toll booth at the mouth of passenger ramps.
10. Drop Off Fee
London's Luton Airport added a fee in 2009 for motorists who want to drop off or pickup passengers at the terminal. It can't be long before the practice spreads to this side of the pond.
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