Yes, we feel your pain.
But make no mistake - Your pain over being nickeled and dimed by the airlines by way of extra fees on baggage, priority boarding, seat selection, reservation change, pillows, blankets, soda etc will not abate any time soon.
Au contraire, your pain is likely to increase because U.S. airlines are raking in money, hand over fist, from the various fees they're imposing on hapless travelers.
In 2012, U.S. airlines raked in over $6 billion from just two add-on fees.
Baggage fees brought $3.5 billion into the airlines' coffers while reservation change fees yielded $2.6 billion, according to a new report put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
That's a helluva lot of money from fees for the airlines.
Delta, United, American and U.S. Airways took in the most money from both baggage fees and reservation change fees.
And you can be as sure as night follows day that U.S. airlines will conjure up more ways to squeeze additional fees out of travelers.
You see, these fee-based services either cost little (soda, for instance) to the airlines or they're already being provided for free currently.
By the way, airlines report only baggage fees and reservation change fees to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics as separate items.
So fees like seating assignments, priority boarding and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are not reported separately.
Airlines covered in the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' report include United, Delta, U.S.Airways, JetBlue, Southwest, American, Alaska, AirTran, ExpressJet, SkyWest and six others.
Total revenue for all U.S. passenger airlines for the full year 2012 was $159.5 billion.
Indians Follow Suit
In recent days, Indian airlines have hopped on the add-on fees bandwagon.
Air India and Jet Airways have announced a cut in the baggage allowance for passengers on domestic flights.
It won't be long before other Indian airlines follow the lead of these two carriers.
Don't be surprised to see fees on international flights from India in the not too distant future.