Airline Idiocracy

The reason Spirit Airlines’ decision to charge for carry-on bags is creating a tempest in a teapot is because, like RyanAir charging for the toilet, we are tired of having new fees tacked on. But it wasn’t necessarily a bad idea in the first place. But, despite that, the other airlines now say they won’t do it.

If you’ve flown lately, you know it’s hell. You know it’s hell and you’re nickel and dimed at every turn. But one of the ways it is made hell is by people bringing too much carry-on luggage, slowing the boarding and deboarding process hugely. This started because it started taking longer and longer to collect checked baggage, and in many airports it became a lot easier to not go to the carousel. Also, it’s harder for them to lose. Then they started charging for bags. So, people started bringing everything on. This is annoying.

I can see why they should apply supply/demand price curve controls to this abuse. But they probably wouldn’t have to if they (a) didn’t charge for bags; and (b) didn’t charge for everything else.

I, for one, would be willing to pay just about double to use a convenient airport, not get nickel and dimed, not get jerked around when there’s a delay or a cancellation, have a tiny bit more room in coach (I don’t need a sleeper seat, but something not made for the lollypop twins would be nice too), etc.

The next time the airlines come hat in hand for a bailout, I hope we either don’t do it, or only do it on the condition that their management is rebuilt entirely from scratch.

(Of course, they should then need to be hired from a business that did not receive a communist bailout before, either. Therefore, no banks, defense contractors, auto manufacturers, large government construction contractors, the health care oligopoly, the oil cartel….)