New airline fee alert: $10 surcharges for flying this holiday season

Christmas flightsThe airlines have some mighty long sleeves. How else can you explain all the dirty tricks they're able to pull out of them? The newest one: Almost all of the legacy carriers in the United States have, within hours of each other, decided to charge you another $10 if you fly on the year's busiest travel days.

The $10 upcharge won't come in the form of more expensive fares. That would make too much sense, and it would actually conform to the old economic law of supply and demand that you were told the markets live by. No, the extra $10 will be concealed in the form of a "miscellaneous surcharge."

I don't get it. Do you?

I understand charging more during peak seasons. That only make sense. But this backdoor method of getting more money when seats are scarcer is just cowardly. When you go surfing on the Web for your airfare so you can fly to visit your family this holiday season, the price you'll be quoted won't reflect the honest, actual price. Which is exactly why the airlines are doing it, rather than being up front about the true cost of your flight from the get-go.

The affected days are November 29, January 2, and January 3. (Well...this year. I fully expect the airlines to expand upon the penalty dates after this initial round. Like bacteria, airline indignities multiply once they get a toehold in the system.) The culprits so far: American Airlines (which started it), Delta, Northwest, and U.S. Airways.

Give us a break, guys. Just increase the price of our fare by $10, and stop insulting us with this henpecking. If you won't give us that dignity, don't be surprised if more and more people are rude to your flight attendants in retaliation. While I don't support that as a civil or effective mode of protest, I suspect America's flight attendants can attest to the fact it's happening.
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