Last week the Internet was abuzz with the story of a woman, Terri Wessinger, stuck in the San Francisco International airport for eight days because she couldn’t pay $60 in checked baggage fees.
I know that few people could imagine not being able to pay a baggage fee would result in an airport prison sentence, but this really did happen.
In the midst of our meditation on the depravity of this particular airline and airlines in general, it all really makes you think about the good old days—when airlines felt they had to compete for your business and offer you reasons to want to fly with them—free food, pretty flight attendants and heck all that cargo space under the plane that can’t support human life? Well, they let you throw your bags in there for free. Why the hell not?
Are airlines going to stop there, at bags, food, headphones and in-flight entertainment? Oh honey, no. Here are some things that they’ll be charging us for in no time.
The writing is on the wall, my friends. If they’re charging you to put your crap in the dead air of the cargo space, you can bet that it’ll be just a matter of time before the wallet sitting in your back pocket is going to be counted as carry-on luggage, and that’s going to cost you.
When airlines do something depraved, there’s no holding them back, and that for damn sure. You want to take a piss? Well that’s going to cost you in the neighborhood of $1. You want to wash your hands? Another buck.
Reclining your seat
You used to just hit the button and push backwards. Well, it wouldn’t take much for airlines to install one of those coin slots onto the side of each chair, so that if you want the pleasure of leaning back it’s going to cost you 75 cents.
Hitting the Flight Attendant Button
I’m not talking about the stuff you do at the Howard Johnson’s after you hit the airport bar, I mean that little button above your seat that brings the air waitress over to assist you for whatever that might be—a glass of ice, putting your tray table in the upright position or figuring out why you can’t hold down a job—you better have $5 in cash in your back pocket because hitting that button will be the equivalent of ordering waffles via room service at the Ritz.
Are you ready?