Not only do planes increasingly resemble tin cans full of fire ants, but airlines are increasingly charging extra cash for every little "amenity," from extra legroom to checking your bag instead of doing battle with a salesman from Tampa for the last few precious inches of overhead bin space.
Unfortunately, they aren't going anywhere because the airlines are making goddamn bank on "ancillary fees," which encompasses everything from upgrading to switching flights. (Have you ever tried rebooking a missed flight over the phone? You're much better off throwing yourself on the mercy of an IRL employee at the airport.) That's according to Business Insider. If anything it'll likely get worse:
In 2010, airlines around the world made $22.6 billion in ancillary revenue, worth 4.2% of industry revenue, according to an October 2013 report by IdeaWorks. In 2013, that number will reach $42.6 billion, worth 6% of total revenue.
About half of that comes from commissions for hotel bookings and sale of frequent flier miles. The rest is from "a la carte fees," like the $100 fee Spirit and Frontier charge some passengers for the right to have a carry-on bag.
U.S. airlines made $899.5 million in checked baggage fees alone, according to CNBC. Meanwhile, Air Canada, for instance, will begin actually policing the size of passengers' carry-ons, to make sure they get that $25 fee if they're eligible. Oh, and Spirit just announced they'll jack their checked-bag fee up an additional $2 for the holidays. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!
If you need me I'll be crying tears of helpless frustration into my $15 airport beer.
Photo via AP Images.