Cranky on the Web (November 21 – 25)

Taking First-Class Coddling Above and BeyondThe New York Times
I was quoted in a front page article talking about First Class on long haul flights. More importantly, Geoff Fischer was interviewed about his write-up on Cranky of his Cathay Pacific experience.

Air travel tax could pinch small citiesCNN Out of the Office
I wrote about this on Cranky fairly recently, but I wrote another one about the air travel tax proposal. I believe this is dead for now since the Super Committee failed to reach any agreement this week, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come back.

The Qantas Labor IssueCNN International World Report
CNN International had me on to talk about the Qantas labor fight, and I was off my game. Definitely take note of the hilarious stone-faced response from the anchor after my phone accidentally goes off. (Thanks for the call, Justin . . . punk.)

[Thanks to @CNNFanCentre for grabbing the clip]

Friendlier Skies? Airline Passenger RightsThe Kojo Nnamdi Show
If you have some time, take a listen to this hour-long segment from the Kojo Show on DC public radio. We get into some good discussion about passenger rights. The one thing I wish I had been able to respond to was Charlie’s mention that airlines won’t give travel agencies and online travel agents access to their fees. That’s not true. Fees are readily available. If TripAdvisor can integrate fee information, why can’t others?

Free Checked Bag Legislation is StupidConde Nast Daily Traveler
I love when my editor gets to the point with titles. The latest proposal from Senator Landrieu (D-LA) to require a free checked bag is just so wrong.

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Consumer Mike

Regarding the proposed regulation of “BAG FEES”, I am for it 100%. Cranky, your argument is tilted to the bottom line of airlines and disregards Consumer Rights. Up to now the airlines have invented fees for everything possible at the expense of the Consumers. Just like the Big Banks. FACT: Charging for beverages brings in revenue. Water is a beverage. Airlines love fees. Fact: Many travelers want water or a free beverage without fees. Should access to, at a minimum, free water be Regulated? YES! Currently RYAN AIR charges for a drink of water and have been considering fees for… Read more »

Nick Barnard

As long as bag fees, drink fees, and other fees are clearly disclosed why should it be a problem? Making the comparison to banks is a red herring. For a business bank account the bank charges for each individual transaction, because businesses are so different with their checking needs. Some deposit lots of cash, some deposit lots of checks, some deposit one check, and make lots of withdraws, so the banks charge them for what they use. So a fair comparison would be if a restaurant had one entry fee, after which time you got whatever you wanted. (Yes, this… Read more »

David SF eastbay

That was a loud ring. Has Justin stopped laughing :-)

Ian L

Nowadays, I carry on a bag that’s small enough to fit in the overhead of a CR7, plus a small laptop bag. Surprisingly, that’s all I need for 90% of the travelling that I do. So if, due to keeping checked bags as a line item, my fare is $2.50 lower due to the lack of a bag fee, I’m coming out ahead, since in most cases I’m flying an airline that charges $20 per checked bag (Frontier). If you don’t like checked bag fees, fly with someone who doesn’t have them, namely Southwest (2 checked bags free, though I’ve… Read more »


I’m going to lobby my senators to introduce legislation that would require airlines to bring back meal service in Y on all flights longer than 15 minutes.