It is your money! I really need to revisit this new $25 fee airlines are imposing for a second bag checked and I am furious for you and you should be too!!
The more and more I think about his fee that is being imposed on you to check a second bag, the angrier I get. I am actually a very gentle man with a very hard to pull trigger to set me off. I can even have someone cut me off on the road and not get upset but just wave and say “hey no problem.” This fee has me feeling very flushed and angry for you the air traveler.
This fee is something that can allow your trigger to be pulled and upset you. Let me explain my position once again to reiterate my stance on this fee.
First of all, baggage mishandles which means your luggage has been on the rise every year to new record levels since 2001. What does this mean to you? More time lost, more frustrations to you and your family, more of the purpose of your trip ruined, lost property, business deals, frustrations, money lost, vacations upset and more.
Folks, I did not write my book The Empty Carousel a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage about this topic with the intention of making tons of money from it, but in fact wrote the book to turn the tide of this problem for so many. Now onto the $25 fee and why you have the right to be angry about this fee.
The airlines have to offset the soaring fuel prices and that is not an easy thing to do. If they raise ticket prices, those increases are less likely to stay in affect. The markets airlines fly into are very competitive. If one competitor does not match the inrease into a particular market the airline that attempted the fare increase will most likely retract that increase to remain competitive and this happens all too often.
The baggage fee is a fee that will and can stick for good and every other day another airline is following suit and charging you the fee.
What frustrates and angers me is simple and if you’re a traveler who is facing this fee, you should be angry too. Now I know that “shoulds” are not a word we need to be using whether it is our loved one, family, friends, or co-workers, it is offensive to “should” anyone.
But this fee is offensive especially when the airlines state “Even if we mishandle your luggage, we will not refund the $25 fee” That is the same as saying we can CONTINUE to do a poor job with your luggage handing which ultimately affects your purpose for traveling and we don’t care, no one is holding us accountable to do a better job with your luggage on behalf of you and your purpose for buying a ticket on us. We simply do not care about you the traveler, our customer who pays our costs to operate as an airline. This to me is outrageous and I have worked for 17 years for the airlines, if it makes me furious, it is OK for you to demand the level of service you deserve especially if you are now being forced to pay another fee. If I was still the system manager of baggage, I would talk to my senior leadership to tell them we need to be held accounatble because that is what will seperate us from the competition.
WHY NOT REFUND THE FEE? You are paying a new fee that never existed before until now. That is the same thing as any other business you deal with saying “oh we made a mistake and you will pay for it” how fair is that???? Lets say you ordered lobster and they served you crayfish instead and the restaurant said crayfish is the same as lobster so deal with it. Would you lay down for that response and pay the price for what you did not get? Or would you fight for your rights as a consumer who is paying for a service and deserves the best service for your dollar and gets what you paid for? Come on air travel consumers, it is time to take a stand for you and your rights!
The airlines should hold themselves accountable, they need to step up their level of service and earn that new fee that you are paying for to help keep them afloat and in business. If an airline truly cared about you they would add a disclaimer to that $25 fee that states, if we mishandle your luggage, we will refund your $25 fee. This would for the first time have airline executives put more emphasis on doing a better job with handling your luggage and make your luggage a priority. Why not! After all you deserve it.
I challenge any airline today to take this stance and I will praise them and honor them as an airline that truly cares about you. I will sing their praises for years to come. Come on airlines, if you’re not a part of this fee now, I guarantee you will adopt the fee sooner than later as most airlines do. If you do not adopt this fee as an airline, I commend you but you still need to focus more effort on your baggage handling. One customer who suffers loss, damage, delay, or pilfered bags is too many in my book.
What can you do? their is a group of politicians who make up the Congressional Aviation Subcommittee and this group has called for a meeting in the past with the Air Transportation Association (ATA) to discuss this rapidly growing problem regarding your checked luggage and in the end of the meeting on May 3, 2006 after the senior VP of ATA John Meenan addressed the congressional panel; it was the Congressional panel that said we are sympathetic to the problem but it is clear that no help is on the horizon to fix this problem.
Please contact any member of the Congressional panel to voice your feelings on this matter, I know (through correspondence only) the Chairman of the subaviation committee and I sent him a copy of my book and he called me on a Saturday morning after he read my book and said he thoroughly enjoyed it and felt it was important to get my information into the hands of the air travel consumers. He also asked me to send a copy to Kip Hawley the head of the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for his thoughts on mass distribution for the air travelers (you) at airports nation wide. I sent Kip Hawley a book and a letter and I have not heard back yet and this was about 3 months ago. I hope to hear from him but I am not holding my breath. I could not even get a telephone number to his office as it is guarded information according to one Congressman’s assistant and she made the call to his office to let his staff know about my book coming their way. Now is the time to take a stand on this issue, after all it only affects you when you travel. I wish you luck and am always here to guide you with my advice if I can help.
Trust me on this one, my little baggage guide book I wrote could have been hundreds of pages to tell the stories and losses of so many travelers just like you but I wrote what you need to know now when you travel, it is my gift to providing you a better travel experience. Regardless of what you think you may know about your luggage, I guarantee you there is information in my book that you will not know that can help you! I encourage you to leave your comments on your luggage experience so you can help each other.
Best Travels to you and yours,
Scott T. Mueller
Author The Empty Carouse a Consumer’s Guide to Checked and Carry-on Luggage.