Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Next Airline Charge

Remember how I few weeks back I asked what the next airline charge was going to be? My funny friend Paige guessed charging you to go to the bathroom. :) Nope, not yet.

Instead? You're being charged to fly standby. Check it out (from Budget Travel's blog):

Continental has just implemented a $50 stand-by fee to help the airline offset rising fuel costs. The change went into effect starting with tickets issued June 17, a representative for the airline says. If you purchased a ticket before that date, Continental will still let you fly stand-by for free.

It’s not the first time that Continental has passed costs on to its passengers (and some other U.S. airlines are even more guilty of the practice). In April, Continental raised its fee to change a ticket reservation on a domestic flight from $100 to $150, following United’s move to raise its change fee from $100 to $150. US Airways followed suit within days.

I only found out about the change in Continental’s stand-by policy because I’ve called the airline several times over the past several weeks to ask about flying stand-by from Pittsburgh to New York this weekend—and today was the first time an agent mentioned the new policy. I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere on Internet news sites, or on Continental’s own website…
Are other airlines going to follow Continental’s lead by charging passengers to fly stand-by, or by raising the penalty to change a ticket reservation? And if so, is the public going to know about it?

Wish there was some way for us to protest all of this...but why punish ourselves for the high cost of gas/fuel? I'm not going to let them win. I'm not going to stop traveling and exploring and seeing the world! This won't stop me from traveling! In fact, I just bought tickets to Australia. :)

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