I'm headed to Barcelona on Tuesday for a week of business meetings. I decided to start using my old US Air FF miles for the trip (with more than a 1.2 million miles and given that I've stopped using USAir back in 2008, this seemed like a good use of them). Imagine my surprise to open my email this morning and find US Air's wonderful missive offering me citrus-marinated chicken skewers or vegetarian Portobello mushroom tortellini for the lovely price of $20. (I assume since this will happen somewhere over the Atlantic, there's no tax.)

And the airlines wonder why people complain about air travel?

It would be good if someone took a look at how much the airlines are actually making off of their baggage fees, too. Yes, it's revenue, but the consequence is that everyone who can brings their luggage as walk-ons. While it took maybe 15 minutes to board a plane in the 1990s, these days it's at least 30 minutes and often longer. That's time lost from being in the air, which is after all what the airlines are in business for in the first place. I don't know anymore which I dislike more–air travel or airline stocks.


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