Why I hate to tavel these days -Reason number 43

cakein the airIt used to be fun to travel.  I remember people used to dress up to travel. (They apparently used to serve CAKE !)

NOW you have to wear shoes that slip off easily–  and no you can’t walk through security with flip flops (lord knows what you could hide in your flip flops).  And then there’s things to consider like belts and sweaters and jackets and such.   And really, call me a conspiracy theorist, but I DON’T believe its about security, I think it’s about control…  but that’s fodder for another post.

Complaint number 43 is the baggage fee. I used to be one of those people who never checked baggage.  If I couldn’t carry it with me, it wouldn’t go…   I prided myself on my ability to pack efficiently, and wear everything I brought with.  Now what’s the point.  With all the restrictions on what can be brought aboard, it’s become a pain in the neck to carry-on.  I mean, what’s a person to do when they can’t bring their meat cleaver aboard?**

Here’s what I recently wrote to US Airways regarding the baggage fee that I had to pay on my recent trip to Hawaii:

First of all let me say that the $20-25 bag check fee is ludicrous. It is, however, a nice way to make your customers feel like you are nickel and dime-ing them to death…. where it would be better in my opinion, to just charge an extra $20 on the ticket.

swrocksWhat with all the restrictions on what you can and cannot carry on board,  it is damn near impossible to fly without checking luggage, so why not just fold that cost into the price of the ticket?

On 12/19 I checked in ONLINE and paid for my bags… I opted to pay for my bags coming and going to save $10 and did it all at the same time so I would not forget… UNFORTUNATELY I did  not realize that with a flight that has a connection / code share arrangement with, say HAWAIIAN AIRLINES, that I would have to pay Hawaiian Airlines when I checked in for my return flight. Apparently codeshare does not mean “bag fee share.” That should be made more clear.

And so, to fly my bags with me, I was in essence charged twice for my return flight.

In the future, trust I will fly Southwest where ever possible…

To USAirways credit, they did reply:

Thank you for contacting US Airways regarding our baggage charges. We regret your displeasure and appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.

Given the issues our industry continues to face in these volatile economic times, all airlines must look at ways to offset our increased operating costs. We continue to center our attention on providing the products and service based on value and our customers’ preferences. Our baggage policy allows customers who need to check baggage the option to do so for a nominal service fee, while allowing the core price of tickets to remain competitive.

A request for a refund has been submitted to our Refund Department on your behalf.

BLA BLA BLA BLA…

I still, however, contend this is NOT good customer service.

311-web-ban

**strange that “meat cleaver” is listed as the fourth item on the list of prohibited sharp objects …  who  carries a meat cleaver?

Twofer Tuesday

A follow up to Monday’s post about the passport, and today’s second post. This Twofer Tuesday may be another new feature of my blog.
Or not.
We’ll see.

Anyway, I let my passport lapse. I had kept an up-to-date passport for many years. And I used it. But the last few years I have not done much travel. In fact, I think the last time I left the country with my passport was 1993 when I went to Argentina as part of a Group Study Exchange Program sponsored by Rotary International. (That’s where I met Martjavascript:void(0)
Publish Postin aka Eebie
)

Anyway, my passport expired and I had no travel plans, so I didn’t bother updating it.

However, since new law sort of went into effect regarding travel to Mexico I realized I couldn’t even leave to head down to Rosarito for Lobster lunch!

So last Saturday I went down to the post office (I had to have an appointment) and applied for my passport. For details on how to apply for a passport, or to find a post office or other facility near you, check out the Passport office online.

And even though the passport office says it will take 4-6 weeks to process, I got mine in 9 days. And I didn’t expedite it!

So, I can only conclude that They want me outta here! or the post office guy likes me (he is kinda cute, I think I may have some more packages to mail)

…. what would you do? book a flight outta here? or go mail a package?