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Instant update... - Mark's Journal
Instant update...
US Airways has, in fact, announced they will begin charging $2 for soft drinks, starting August 1st. No doubt other carriers will soon follow suit. I'll need to write my Senators and Congressman and urge that they eliminate the hyper-paranoid ban on bringing liquids when traveling by air. I do bring an empty water bottle with me and fill it inside the secure area, but if I wanted to be able to bring orange juice instead, I should be able to -- whether I have a child with me or not.

US Airways will also begin charging $25 or $50 fees for redeeming miles for free award travel. I better start burning some miles.
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mazzie From: mazzie Date: June 13th, 2008 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Two freakin' dollars for half a can of soda?!

How is that approaching reasonable?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 13th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

I have to imagine they'll be selling you the whole can, but I do think it's nuts. Oh, and they're also bumping booze from $5 to $7, though I thought on Saturday how surprising it was that it had been $5 for so long.
belmikey From: belmikey Date: June 13th, 2008 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, bumping alcohol up isn't so bad (although that's easy for me to say, since the only times I partake of onboard booze are A] when I've managed to smile my way into one of the upper classes where it's free or B] when I'm on a long-haul overseas flight).

$2 for a soda is robbery. I suspect they'll be going through a lot less soda, though. Then they'll have an excuse to eliminate it entirely from coach class, which will save them money and weight.

It's really strange to watch an entire industry panic...
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 13th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

*shrug* $2 has become the price for a single-serve beverage at retail. You can find them cheaper, but it's getting harder; most soda vending machines are at least $1, and more often $1.50 or $2, especially in places like hotels. This is why I'm so insistent that we need to be able to bring our own beverages from home again.
belmikey From: belmikey Date: June 13th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is why I'm so insistent that we need to be able to bring our own beverages from home again.

Until the industry panic has bubbled its way through the system, this won't happen. If you're a congressman and told on the one hand that US Airways just has to charge $2/soda and have exclusive rights to serve beverages to its customers just to stay flying, and on the other hand that mere constituents want to avoid paying that $2 and bring their own, who are you going to vote with?

gibbie69 From: gibbie69 Date: June 13th, 2008 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
The airline isn't preventing you from bringing your own onboard, it's the TSA. AFAIK you can purchase beverages in the airport after the security checkpoint and take it on board. Of course, the prices in the airport are robbery as well. You can't bring your own from home (and avoiding the outrageous prices) because of the asinine restrictions on bringing liquids through security.

This is why I fly as little as possible. I only get on a plane if there's no other way to get there or common sense says fly not drive (I flew to Dallas because it was actually *cheaper* than driving). We were in the planning stages of a trip to Scotland and Ireland when the whole liquid panic hit in London and at that point security was restricting all electronics and in some cases even paperback books. I looked at Steve and said "you know what, I don't want to go. I'm not going to fly under those conditions period."
fabunobo From: fabunobo Date: June 13th, 2008 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
What if you are diabetic and you NEED to have a soda or you like, die? And you don't have $2? Is $2 really going to add THAT much to their budget? Come on!
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 13th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)

There are actually provisions for bringing things through security that you have a legit medical need for. "Doctor, please give me a note that says I need to carry this bourbon on board!"
psyllisa From: psyllisa Date: June 13th, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh. I like that one.
kitchenqueen From: kitchenqueen Date: June 13th, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is getting absolutely ridiculous.
chesther From: chesther Date: June 13th, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
There's something somewhat offensive to me for charging for free travel. Like, y'know, that makes it kinda not free.

Hey, the fares I paid when I racked up those miles included checked baggage, drinks, and meals. Why shouldn't I get the same when I redeem?

Here's hoping that the industry crashes and burns completely, and that out of its ashes arises a new set of companies who can offer some customer service.
kinnerc From: kinnerc Date: June 13th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here! Here!
kenshardik From: kenshardik Date: June 13th, 2008 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Will you be wanting to breathe on your flight? That will be $1 per cubic liter of air."
marco235 From: marco235 Date: June 13th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
We'll have to retire the "because the air is free" jokes, then. :)
belmikey From: belmikey Date: June 13th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Also, I think it's a real mark of their desperation that they're going to be hitting up even their customer loyalty programme for money, by charging to redeem miles...
sproing From: sproing Date: June 13th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
they want to charge you money.. to redeem miles.. WTF?! that's just wrong.
emaline412 From: emaline412 Date: June 13th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I remember when flying was fun, an adventure.
From: (Anonymous) Date: June 13th, 2008 03:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
My solution? Avoid flying as much as humanly possible.

It's not fast anymore. A car can beat a plane to Boston with no problem.

Having said that, a car trip to Boston (round trip) now costs about $100, so economically, even with a $500 (round trip?) ticket, flying to other corners of the country may still be economical. But until this speculative oil bubble bursts, even that may turn out to be a problem.
From: ddmd Date: June 14th, 2008 03:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I seem to recall a recent news story where it's being suggested to weight passengers and charge them extra based on their weight (I think it was on either CNN or MSNBC).

Won't that be fun?
mhaithaca From: mhaithaca Date: June 14th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

At least it would relate to the actual cost of transporting that passenger, so while it wouldn't be very friendly, it would have some grounding in business costs.

More equitable might be to weigh the total of the passenger and his or her luggage. Me plus two 50 lb suitcases could be charge the same amount as a 300 lb person with no luggage.
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