Clay and I are planning a trip to Vegas this fall and five minutes spent on Allegiant Air’s website Wednesday night was sufficient enough time to remember a favorite airline pastime – swindling. Why inconveniently pay $40 online right now (of all times) to check one bag when you can wait and pay $70 when you get to the airport?
I suppose if travelers are embracing their “I’m on vacation; eff it!” attitude, why shouldn’t airlines profit? Still, you better hope your bag doesn’t weigh more than the maximum 40 pounds or, whoops, that’s another $50 coming out of your pocket.
AA employee: “Sir, our scales are re-calibrated daily; yours must be off at home.”
Traveler: “Yikes; now I’m worried about how much I really weigh. Ah, heck – no, I’m not because I’m on vacation!”
AA employee: “Actually, it looks like we’re going to have to charge you for two seats because your weight is over the 250-pound maximum for one seat.”
Traveler: “Wha…I weigh 245 pounds!”
AA employee: “The camera adds five pounds, and look…” Points to security camera and shrugs helplessly.
Traveler: “This is outrageous!”
AA employee: “Oh, and by the way? That ChapStick in your pocket next to the $50 you still owe us for your bag puts you over the maximum weight of pockets, so that’ll be another $5.50.”
Traveler: Jaw drops.
AA employee: “Did you just smirk at me? Hand over a fiver. Your mother taught you better than that.”
When did it start costing an additional $13 (per person) to sit together? I thought that was the whole point of buying a plane ticket. I’m sorry, but I could have a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel with Chuck Norris and I’d adamantly tell him, “Chuck. Hate to break it to you, man, but I’ll just wait to talk to you until we get off the plane.” Even if he had a slideshow of his all-time favorite Chuck Norris facts set to Walker, Texas Ranger theme music. Even if he promised to quiet that crying baby next to me with a swift roundhouse kick to the face.
Ok, now I truly am sorry. Chuck Norris would understand though, because Chuck Norris pinches pennies so hard that they elongate into souvenirs commemorating his thriftiness.
…I’ll keep working on that one.
So, you go through the process of purchasing a plant ticket online and you think, just like everyone who purchased a ticket before you has ever thought, I’ve gotta be almost done. Buying this ticket has taken so long that I’m starting to have second thoughts about even going on this trip. Maybe I should be saving this money to buy a house for my future kids, not waste it gambling in Vegas.
All those thoughts go through your mind as you nervously watch the progress bar at the bottom of the screen fill further and further, your finger on the mouse, lingering over the “Back” button, until BAM! It’s over.
Except it’s not. This is when the “Would you like to add _______” series of questions comes into play. The airline also chooses this time to make you feel extra paranoid and regretful about the flight you booked by stating there is a $200 charge just to change your itinerary. Between the “Are you sure you want to ______?” and “Would you like to add ________?” questions, it’s enough to drive anyone mad. It got me thinking. In the future, what other options might they suggest we add to our trip? Currently, you can package a flight, hotel, and rental vehicle together for the low price of just hundreds of dollars. What else could one possibly need on a flight to Vegas and then, upon arrival in the city of sin?