Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FROM A WRITERS' GROUP PROMPT:
It's not that I wish to deny your airline the opportunity to make a profit. Indeed, I do realize that in order for your company to continue to make flights to far-off destinations there must be a benefit to the owners and shareholders. But I must protest the extent to which you apparently deem it necessary to extract my meagre vacation funds before I have even arrived at my destination.
I am charged a fee to choose a seat and the spectre of sitting in the last row next to the toilet motivates me to comply. At the airport, I am punished for not printing my boarding pass at home. Surely, $15 is a hefty charge for a single sheet of paper, albeit the price of printer ink is high. My modest equipage attracts a $25 fee, raised to $40 because I didn't pay it 24 hours in advance. Depriving your company of the fee for less than 24 hours cannot justify this usurious interest rate of almost a dollar an hour. I suppose I should be grateful that by agreeing to a virtual ticket I saved myself your $50 charge. My smugness turns out to be fleeting.
Once aboard, the flight attendant would be pleased to rent me a blanket to offset the chilly cabin atmosphere for a mere $5 fee. The $2 charge for headphones is admittedly modest--and I do get to keep them for future flights. If I have any funds left by this time I can peruse your shopping catalog so handily tucked into the pocket in the back of the seat in front of me. If I could just maneuver my knees sufficiently from their position pressed into the seat in front to insert a hand into the pocket and retrieve the magazine. Now, it is decision time. Should I forego purchasing a unique bauble for myself as a memory of this journey or should I skip eating for the next six hours?
Maybe I can spend the rest of my vacation at the airport until it's time for the return flight. That's all I'll be able to afford! What happened to air travel like this: