Friday, June 13, 2008

Where Will the Madness Stop?

Today it's USAir announcing that they're going to charge for all beverages and water ( I am going to go to my doctor's on Monday and get a note saying that if I go more than one hour on an airplane without fluids, I am risking my physical health. That ought to establish sufficient grounds for a lawsuit. And the bacteria count in the water in the washrooms? In the spirit of helping USAir out of our misery, here's a list of other things they should charge for. (As an you know their customer service motto? "We're not happy 'til you're not happy." They ought to be very happy today.)
  • You know how they ask us for our window/aisle preference. Whichever it is, it will cost $10 extra. I'm going to change my profile to say I want a middle seat. First, that means I'll get a window or aisle free. Second, they're so screwed up, they'd never assign me a middle seat. (By the way, I still don't think they've merged my USAir and AmericaWest accounts. Probably Piedmont and PSA for that matter...)
  • Seat bottom cushions that actually float: $10.
  • A per transaction charge for the seat belt: Every time you click and unclick, it's a dollar.
  • Much as data communications companies want to charge data plans by the megabyte, USAir will charge by the word for conversations with flight attendants, gate agents, customer support agents, lost baggage agents and the like. And there will be surcharges for effective outcomes: if they actually resolve your problem, there's a 20% premium. The good news: they'll never charge the premium.
  • Here's one I think they'll really use: taking a cue from London (congestion pricing) and Houston (parallel roads, one free and one toll), security lines will have various length and price. Short lines, high price, getting higher as the lower priced line gets longer. Wall Street will enter this game since pricing will vary even as you wait in line so you can hedge your price.
  • In flight entertainment: since there's very little to pay for right now, the Barney theme song and "It's a Small World" will be played over the PA system until the passengers have contibuted in aggregate $5,000. Bose headphones will be banned from use until such time as the, fee...has been met.
  • In the unlikely event of a water landing, egress from the plane will be on a first paid, first exited basis. Fees will be based on the size of your estate which must be verified before you exit the plane. For an additional fee, you can be pre-verified before departure, ensuring immediate exit from the plane. (No refunds in case of death.)
  • Bereavement discounts will be replaced with bereavement surcharges. It works for funeral homes and after all, the travel experience is more like death every day.

What am I missing?

No comments: