Airlines nickel and diming themselves to death OCT 13 2009
The airlines that added the most fees (for food, to check bags) in the past few months saw their revenues decline the most.
I thought about his rant this week as the nation's largest carriers reported first-quarter earnings. Or, more accurately, first-quarter losses. Except for AirTran and JetBlue, they all lost money. The legacy airlines -- Delta/Northwest, American, United, Continental and US Airways -- lost a lot of money. Collectively about $1.9 billion, in fact. Their revenue plummeted, too.
And do you know what most of them wanted to talk about? You guessed it. The baskets of ancillary revenue they're harvesting by charging us fees for checking bags, choosing coach seats or whatever. Forget that their houses are burning down. They found a tap in the bathtub with some water leaking out, so they're thrilled.