‘Because We Feel Like It’

Robert Carlsen, Executive Editor 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 t

By: Robert Carlsen, Executive Editor

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!

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