This just in from Breaking News (www.brknews.com):
FORT WORTH, TEXAS Basically just because they can get away
with it, U.S. airline giants United, American and Southwest
announced today they will add a $20 “sucker” surcharge to all
domestic flights through the end of the year, or perhaps longer if
they feel like it. “With fuel surcharges and various taxes already
in place, there really isn’t much of a need for this,” said
American Airlines CEO Robert Crandall. “But we figured, ‘What the
hell.’ I could use a new set of [golf] clubs, and [Marketing
Director] John [Samuel] has had his eye on a new yacht for a while
now.” Expecting air travel to increase dramatically over the next
year, Crandall said other charges will likely be introduced
quarterly through the end of 2002, including the Air Traffic
Controllers’ Lexus Maintenance Fund Tax ($15), the X-ray
Technicians’ Half-Life Excise Tax ($10) and the Mile-High Club
Restroom Injury Fund Surcharge ($40).
Of course, Crandall’s not in charge at American anymore, but his
legacy lives on in Don Carty, who was one of the airline execs
asking Congress for more taxpayer money last month. One of the most
inexcusable airline requests to the congressional transportation
committee was reimbursement for flying federal air marshals in
first class. The bill: $35 million.
Question: Can’t air marshals fly coach? And, if the pilots get
to pack pistols and the flight attendants are trained in karate,
don’t you think air marshals are a tad bit redundant? Just think of
the poor bozo who raises his voice to the attendant: “I asked for
Coke, not Pepsi”? In no time, he’ll be in some serious hurt, even
without air marshals.
Anyway, thanks to Breaking News for giving us the inspiration to
come up with more fee ideas, such as the Air Line Pilots
Association Stress Reduction Hooker Massage Fee ($5), the Airline
Executive Vice Presidents’ Gold Basin and Fixtures Surcharge ($18),
the If You Want to See Your Dog Again, It’ll Cost You Animal
Transportation Insurance Fee ($10), and the Body Cavity Security
Search Exemption Fee ($14).
Shell out! Save the airlines!