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Friday, August 01, 2008

How Far Will They Go?

Southwest Airlines asks that question in this commercial:

I guess US Air is answering the question with "as far as we can."
Charging for checked luggage and legroom isn’t enough for some carriers — starting today, coach passengers flying aboard US Airways Inc. must pay for a drink of water.

This morning, US Airways began charging fliers $2 for bottled water and sodas and $1 for teas and coffees. First class members, trans-Atlantic passengers and a select group of others are exempt from the extra fees.

“This is another clever way to masquerade airfare increases without increasing airfares,” says Randy Petersen, editor of Inside Flyer Magazine. “Everything has been passed along to the consumer.”

The Tempe, Ariz.-based airline is among many other carriers scrambling to cut costs and boost revenues amid skyrocketing fuel prices. For now, other major airlines including AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., and Northwest Airlines Corp. say they won’t resort to the a la carte beverage system yet but will continue researching all possible ways to save money. Discount carriers AirTran Holdings Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp. and Southwest Airlines Co say they will also continue serving complimentary beverages.
The good news (for now) for travelers is that you can still carry on beverages (that you paid too much for inside the terminal) and snacks. We'll see how long that lasts. 

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