Patt Morrison for August 10, 2010

The “friendly” skies are a whole lot greener

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Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Food on airplanes can be a demoralizing affair. The Sporkful give us ideas for brightening your tiny airline plate.

When it comes to airline travel, it seems everything comes with a fee. Spirit Airlines is now charging for carry-on bags; free standby travel is quickly becoming a thing of the past (a “same-day confirmed” seat will now cost you $50.00 on some major carriers), and even the obligatory pillow and blanket come at a price. The airline industry made over $750 million dollars in just three months in baggage fees this year. They made over $550 million on reservation change fees. But don’t worry, if you are American Airlines customer you can opt for their “boarding and flexibility” plan. It enables you to pay a smaller fee now so you don’t have to pay a larger fee later. Are all these fees necessary to keep the airline industry in business in these tough economic times, or is this overkill? Should Congress or the Department of Transportation do more to regulate what the industry charges?

Guest:

Kate Hanni, Executive Director, FlyersRights.org


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