Charging for checked bags is a stupid idea

Ever since American Airlines announced they’d be charging for the first checked bag, this is the blog post I’d intended to write.  Well, close to it anyway — I’d also thought that the only effect is going to be everyone trying to bring bags on board and making the clusterfuck that is boarding even worse, but charging for carry-on bags instead
is a brilliant idea. The only modification I’d make is to make it apply to bags in the overhead compartments only (the space in front of your legs is still free).  The airlines could sell a limited number brightly-coloured carry-on bag tags (for say, $15 each) for each flight, and anything found in the overhead compartment without a tag automatically gets checked.  (Passengers in bulkhead seats get a free tag to compensate for the lack of underseat storage.) It’s a great way of managing a limited resource, and a revenue generator for cash-strapped airlines.

And on a similar topic, I now refuse to fly US Airways since they announced they were to start charging for soft drinks during flights. This is simply penny-pinching gone to far.  In the dry environment of a low-pressure airline cabin, everyone needs a drink. Just add a few dollars to the fare, for chrissake, and save all the costs of re-engineering the beverage and cash collection process!