Luggage surcharges are old news at my airline. I’ve had them for years: for second bags that don’t contain golf clubs, for cardboard boxes held together with twine or duct tape, for long, rolled-up things that you bring into the cabin, and for any carry-on item that I have to help you stow or retrieve, or that you jam into the overhead compartment sideways, so that it crushes my sports coat, which I have folded using the time-tested inside-out method, or whose size forces me to place my briefcase in a compartment other than one directly over my row. The charge is fifty dollars, exact change only. From now on, I will also be charging fifty dollars for any piece of luggage on which you have written your name and address in gigantic letters.
Previously, at check-in, I have visually estimated your weight. From now on, you may be required to step onto the luggage scale. You must also certify, before boarding, that no part of your arm or torso will extend over your armrest and touch me or cause my arm or side to get hot at any time during the flight. If the test calipers at the boarding gate cannot be passed freely over your entire body, you will be required to purchase an additional ticket and to sit in the exact center of your two seats. Furthermore, you must keep your feet stowed directly in front of you at all times in such a way that your legs do not touch my legs or penetrate any part of the imaginary vertical plane separating your seating space from mine. Fifty dollars. More.
26 August 2008
World's bossiest airline
"My Airline," a snarky, clever essay by David Owen, is in response to the bazillion, death-by-papercut fees airlines now charge. The story appeared in the Shouts & Murmurs column of The New Yorker, July 7 & 14, 2008 edition. Full story here. A teaser: