Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
airlines, fees

Maybe Airlines Should Take A Page From Telcos: Pretend Extra Fees Are From The Government

from the oxygen-fee-anyone? dept

For years, we've pointed out how various telcos get away with adding extra fees to increase the price of service without technically "increasing the price." The sneakiest of these add on those fees with names that make them sound like they're required by the government -- even though they rarely are. A few times, we've asked how those sorts of fees might be applied to other businesses. Of course, we did so as a joke, using it to show how ridiculous some of those fees really were. However, it appears that perhaps it wasn't such a joke. Reading this NY Times article about all the new fees that airlines are charging passengers, it has to remind you of the sorts of fees seen on your telco bills lately. As far as I know, I haven't seen any airlines disguising fees as gov't taxes yet -- though it may just be a matter of time. Of course, the airlines are doing their best to ignore the criticism of things like charging $7 for a pillow or $2 for some water -- but as political cartoonists are noticing, it may not be long before people expect to be charged for oxygen masks or use of the bathroom.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Mogilny, Aug 18th, 2008 @ 4:32pm

    I don't know...

    If they start charging for O2 masks, then that means they would have to inspect them every so often. And if they charge for the bathroom, then where would that bathroom passenger sit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2008 @ 5:20pm

    Dont drink the water

    And in related news ...
    It is recommended that you not drink their water.
    Apparently, when they run out of bottled water, they fill up bottles from the "tap". And testing of that tap water has revealed it to be not so clean.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Matt Bennett, Aug 18th, 2008 @ 6:40pm

    Uhaul charged me a $5 "environmental fee." I asked, it's not for anything specifically, it's just there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    travel agent, Aug 18th, 2008 @ 6:41pm


    you pay lots of "taxes" when you buy an airline ticket. if i'm not mistaken, and i may be, at least two taxes on tickets purchased in the US are government related (or thats what they want you to think).

    so, technically, airlines may have been doing this before the telcos made it such a lucrative racket.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Dave, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 6:09am

    And in Canada, this starts lawsuits

    For years the mobile telcos charged "system access fees" under the guise that they were some kinds of licensing fees from the CRTC (Canada's FCC). The fees are still there.

    However, last year, a class action law suit was filed for misrepresentation. It seems that the fees had nothing to do with government and are a cash grab.

    Now the telcos are more clear about why the fees are there.

    More detail is here:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2008 @ 12:07pm


    We just need a truth-in-advertising law (in the US, some other countries all ready have it) that says that advertised prices have to be the final price, including taxes and fees.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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