Airlines have been piling on fees for everything from in-flight meals and pillows to checked baggage service and a tiny bit of extra legroom. And just yesterday, in a story I reported on for MSNBC.com, United Airlines announced new charges for ‘seatmates of size.’
After toying with putting pay-boxes on airplane lavatories, travelers gave Ryanair 12,000 other ideas for “discretionary revenue charges.” Voting ends tomorrow (Friday, April 17) for a winner from the top five. Choices include: fees for toilet paper, a “corkage” fee for bringing your own food onboard, a subscription fee for the airline’s Web site, an access fee for an on-board smoking room and a surcharge for overweight passengers.
Now airports are starting to explore charging extra fees. The UK’s Luton airport recently began charging drivers a passenger drop-off fee. And in my Well-Mannered Traveler column on MSNBC.com – Will Airports Fleece the Fliers? – I consider a few more: how about a gate limo, a bathroom attendant, or a security checkpoint concierge?