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Eric Joiner, Jr.

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February 05, 2008

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Amen! UAL's decision to charge for a second bag smacks of desperation and greed (not to mention stupidity). I completely agree that, instead of charging to check baggage, UAL should be ENCOURAGING passengers to check baggage rather than lug steamer trunks onto planes as carry-ons. If UAL wants to cut costs, there are plenty of ways they can do it -- one BIGGY -- is labor costs. I have a good friend whose wife is a UAL flight attendant. There was a period of time, when UAL was in bankruptcy, when she worked once a month (or something like this) and was able to retain her senior status and full benefits (which were considerable). Man, I wish I could work once a month and keep my benefits. What did this cost UAL? What did it cost its customers?? I've been a loyal UAL flyer since I started in business and some of the decisions they've made through the years amazed me -- not in a good way. If other airlines don't follow in UAL's desperation path here, I'm ready to say "bye bye" to the home airline and opt for another that actually considers the passengers first, and runs their business like a real business. UAL deserves to go away. I hope passengers help them do this. What a shame.

If I have to travel 8 hours or less, I just drive. No check in hassles, I can choose the food I want to eat and I don't have to worry about renting a car when I arrive. A second bag? No problem, into the trunk it goes. I crank up the satellite radio and enjoy the scenery.

Personally, long drives don't bother me, but I realize it may not be a good option for others.

Yes we get screwed on some of these small market lanes where there is no discount airline competition. You can fly from Chicago to Los Angeles for 450.00 but to fly from Atlanta to Columbus Ohio or to Jackson Mississippi, will cost 1300 or 1400.00. The reason is a lack of competition. If Airtran or Southwest or JetBlue flew into those markets the rates would fall quicker than Paris Hiltons panties.

As I said in the original post I dont fly United Airlines. They dont get it. The only exception is transpacific. UAL does have a hell of a good network across the big pond.

Eric

You guys in the states are getting ripped off big time! $25 US to check in a second bag? Why don't you people just boycott these airlines until they recognize that their in the customer service business. No customers, no business.

And paying $1,200 US to go from Altanta to Louisville KY? For $1,200 US I could travel from Melbourne to Los Angeles, Tokyo or London and still have change in my pocket. Seriously, you guys are getting screwed!

I think airlines are missing the trend where people want more stuff with them when they travel away from home--not less.

John

I dont have a problem paying fees for services I choose to purchase such as food and beverage. I do have issues with extra charges that encourage behavior I feel is detrimental to travel, such as this $25.00 fee.

Tell your friend to ship his books DHL. A DHL prepaid box would work fine. :-)

Eric

Dog gone it, Eric. I sat down for a productive morning of work and now you've got me started.

I just returned from a ski trip to Winter Park, CO via Denver (from Baltimore). Outbound from BWI, everything was smooth, lines were short and bags were checked. One of my companions had a suitcase that weighed in at 55 lbs. He frantically began unloading items into a plastic shopping bag to avoid the overweight charge (> 50 lbs). The poor guy's bag was tearing as sharp ends of hardback books sliced the plastic. I carried his CPAP breathing machine through security! All to avoid the surcharge. (FYI - we were booked on a B757 and about 10 - 15% of the seating was open when we left).

I'm ok with these various charges, although I don't think it is productive from a marketing perspective. The airlines complain that they can't offer competitive pricing and make ends meet. I'm ok with all of the crazy ideas they are coming up with -- charges for reserved seating, paying for a crummy box meal, extra bag charges, etc. -- if my gross air travel price works out to be the same as the pre-surcharge rates.

Let me chose how I spend my travel dollar.

I haven't flown United since they socked me $5 for a drink on a cross Atlantic flight. Ok so flights are going that way, but I was flying on a Lufthansa ticket and they did not charge on the flight over. IT was my mistake for opting for the flight back that was operated by United.

I wonder how they are going to work in these $25 baggage fees into their award-winning TV commercials. "Sorry Johny. No teddy bear for you this trip because United demanded that I purchase another ticket for him!"

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