Delta Announces Massive Fee Increases For Unaccompanied Minors, Pets

Reader M has forwarded us a memo from Delta detailing massive fee increases for unaccompanied minors, pets, gate checked strollers, “administrative service charges,” curb-side check in and more.

The memo says that the “changes, which are effective immediately, are due to record fuel costs and business decisions reflecting today’s economic landscape.”

Brace yourselves for the pain:

Type of Fee:
Current Fee:
New Fee:
Administrative Fee for Curbside Check-in
Check-in

None
$3 fee per curb-checked item
Unaccompanied Minor Fee

$50 Nonstop (each way)
$100 Connecting (each way)
$100 Flat Rate (each way)
Oversize Baggage Fee
$100 (each way)
$150 (each way)
Fee for Pets in Cabin
$75 (each way)
$100 (each way)
Fee for Pets as Checked Baggage
$150 (each way)
$200 (each way)
Fee for Plastic Bags (for gate-checked strollers/car seats)
$3
$5
Direct Ticketing Charge (DTC)

$20
$25
External Reissue Charge (ERC)

$20
$30
SkyMiles OA Award Handling Charge

None
$25
SkyMiles Award Ticket Mileage Redeposit Fee
$75
$100
Administrative Service Charge

$75
$100

If a PDF is more your speed, you can download the memo here.

Comments

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  1. thirdbase says:

    The one fee they don’t have is the one they should have:
    Oversized passenger fee.

  2. umbriago says:

    “We’re broke as hell, and it shows.”

    (or for you older folks, “Delta is poorer than you are.”)

  3. bdsakx says:

    Wow Delta! Why don’t I just hand you my life savings and cash out my bank accounts for you.

  4. OneMHz says:

    @bdsakx: You’ll need to save up for a few more months first. I’m actually kind of shocked they allow pets in the cabin. I wonder if they consider the fact that you can almost guarantee someone on the flight has a pet allergy.

  5. Asvetic says:

    Delta: We (hate our passengers, but) love to fly, and it shows!

  6. He says:

    Why is there a fee for gate checked strollers but not gate checked bags? It’s only 5 bucks, but that’s totally bogus.

  7. tedyc03 says:

    So after paying the $600 for that one-way airline ticket, I can expect to fork over another $1,200 in fees, right? Sounds like a fair deal to me!

    Or I can take Southwest and be afraid the wings will fall off…

  8. tedyc03 says:

    @He: They’re not charging for checking the stroller. They’re charging for putting it in a bag. Which I think is even more of a ripoff (bring Hefty from home for $0.0003)

  9. NotATool says:

    “today’s economic landscape.” LOL they make it sound so dramatic and so not their fault they’re changing their fees.

  10. squikysquiken says:

    @thirdbase: Wow. What about maybe a $500 special charge for long legs or maybe $450 for being blind. Wheelchair, that’ll be another $3000, walk if you don’t like it. If I was Delta, I’d just cut in half all their already tiny seats and charge everyone for 2 seats. Let see how you like that now.

    It’s one thing to have properly sized seats that can’t accomodate a few % of the population. It’s another to get them so small that a majority of people can barely fit in them.

  11. mike1731 says:

    @tedyc03: Actually, Southwest’s fleet is newer overall than Delta’s. So with Delta, you get extra fees, worse service, AND Suspense! Whoopee!

    I’ve been avoiding Delta for several years in favor of Contintental and American, this isn’t helping matters for me.

  12. ARP says:

    This is similar to the low cost airlines who charge you for anything extra. The huge difference is that Delta is not a low cost airline- they’re just as expensive as the other large airlines. For some reason, I doubt they’re going to drop fairs concurrently.

  13. Scotus says:

    I don’t fly Delta, so I have no idea what “SkyMiles OA Award Handling Charges” or “SkyMiles Award Ticket Mileage Redeposit Fees” are, but I’m not sure Delta really grasps the concept of frequent flier miles. They’re supposed to be an incentive to keep flying Delta, not an added revenue stream.

    I wonder how long it will be until we see a “SkyMiles Redemption Fee,” where if you wish to use your SkyMiles for a free flight, you’re welcome to, but the fee will be whatever the cost of the ticket is.

  14. renilyn says:

    This is the same airline who let my 11 year old step-daughter out on the concourse, unescorted, at DEN and told her to “find her parents”. After we paid a $75 each way fee for escort. NOT going to happen again for $100 each way.

  15. Jim Fletcher says:

    Wait. It’s cheaper to bring your pet in the cabin than to check it? And what happens when TSA thinks your pet is a security risk and they want you to dismantle it to prove otherwise?

  16. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    So, now that they are charging for curbside check-in, the tips for the curb baggage guys are going to go down (I owe you $3 for fees, so you can have the rest of the $5 as tip vs. here’s $5 for tip for my bags), and the lines to check in inside are going to get longer.

    I don’t understand how this is a sound business decision at all.

  17. moore850 says:

    @brooksosheffield: I concur, I think anyone would rather have their pet in the cabin… and furthermore, are there any pet restrictions? I’ve never seen anyone try to bring a pet in the cabin on any flight, but I imagine a jack russell terrier or other fairly vocal pet would drive the entire cabin nuts.

  18. Tallanvor says:

    @Scotus: Are you kidding? All of the airlines are being pressured to spin off their frequent flyer programs. Investors think those programs can be huge profit centers if they’re by themselves.

    Don’t ask me how, or how the *ssholes can do that knowing that it will help screw over everyone, but in their deranged minds, it apparently makes sense.

  19. homerjay says:

    You people are so cold… Do you have any idea how much it costs to completely ignore a kid for an entire flight?
    For shame…

  20. 12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich says:

    @moore850: I’ve taken a 20lb dog in the cabin on a cross country flight with me before, and she was fine (and she definitely can be vocal). Typically you would give your dog a benadryl or some sort of sedative to help them sleep/not annoy anyone else. I also felt it was much safer then putting the dog in the cargo hold (dog health wise)

    I’ve also ridden on flights with large service dogs as well as small yappy dogs. They have never been any worse than a screaming kid or loud or drunk adult.

  21. KogeLiz says:

    ::shrug::

    i have never flown delta… they’re flights seem to be more expensive anyway.

    I also don’t mind the pet, unaccompanied minor fees, because, well, that means a more comfortable flight for me. although that blows if you’re over 12… as they seem to know how to control themselves.

    No idea what an “Administrative Service Charge” is but that seems expensive.

    What about extra fees or a denial of anyone lugging on massive strollers and giant carry-ons? that’s such a pain in the ass to be on a flight with people like that.

    Who the hell would fly Delta at this point?

  22. bluewyvern says:

    I think you can only take your pet in the cabin if you buy it a seat. So the fee is a little smaller, but you’re already spending hundreds on an extra ticket.

    But I thought they only allowed celebrity animals in the cabin. Can you buy a seat for any pet?

  23. @moore850: generally the pet has to be under 20 lbs or so – there are special airline cabin sized carrier bags you can buy that fit under the seat. I flew with my dachshund/beagle mutt in the cabin on Delta once, but I doped her and muzzled her during the course of the flight so that she wouldn’t cause any issues.

  24. MeOhMy says:

    It gives me a Les Miserables flash back…

  25. scottr0829 says:

    A number of airlines will let certified therapy dogs (like the cert mine is testing for next week – TDI) in the cabin. Not sure about other animals though.

  26. oakie says:

    @squikysquiken: lose weight, fatty. despite what your friends, family, coworkers, significant other, etc told you, you’re actually overweight.

    those of us who are of proper weight can fit properly into the 17.5″ to 19″ wide seats just fine, and prefer that your sweaty fat rolls didnt lay on our laps because YOU can’t fit into a seat made for a human and not a hippo.

    pay the $200 fee and have your ass stuffed in a cow carrier in the cargo bay… because tall people of proper weight and the blind can still fit in a single seat so your argument is moot. your fat ass is not a disability, so dont even begin to compare it to that.

  27. oakie says:

    but if you have a thyroid condition, my bad.

  28. FF_Mac says:

    @tedyc03: Strollers are often required to be in a bag instead of traveling loose so to prevent straps from getting caught in baggage handling equipment. Those bags are supposed to be clear so the contents can be seen. Silly? You betcha. My suitcases aren’t clear…why should the bag the stroller is in be clear?

  29. buzzaldrin007 says:

    Hardly a surprise, this has been the model for all low cost airlines in Europe for quite a while. There are so many other examples in US – the city of Houston charges visitors a tax to build a stadium every time they rent a car or stay in a hotel.

    I wish the airlines start charging extra for people who occupy too much space beyond their seat or those who carry bags which are too big to be in the cabin.

  30. psychos says:

    These changes are even worse than they look. Since the language is confusing for anyone who doesn’t fly on DL often, I’ll try to help to the best of my knowledge:

    Direct Ticketing Charge (DTC) – $20 -> $25
    This is the fee for booking an award or regular ticket over the phone or with an airport/city ticket office agent.

    External Reissue Charge (ERC) – $20 -> $30
    This is the fee for Delta “taking over” a ticket that was issued by a 3rd party, e.g., Orbitz, Expedia, your corporate travel agent, rather than directly by Delta. From my experience, this does not seem to apply in many cases.

    SkyMiles OA Award Handling Charge – Free -> $25
    This is the new fee for booking an award ticket that has at least 1 segment on an airline other than Delta. No other carrier charges this. Expect others to start.

    SkyMiles Award Ticket Mileage Redeposit Fee – $75 -> $100
    This is the fee for canceling your award ticket and getting your miles back. This is in line with what other carriers charge.

    Administrative Service Charge – $75 -> $100
    This is the fee for making a change to an award or regular ticket, or for cancelling a regular non-refundable ticket (you get an e-credit voucher for the original price – $100 which can be used for a year, which is better than many airlines since the e-credit can be partially used over time until depleted.) This is in line with what other carriers charge, but still a lot more than the industry-leading $50 that DL was at a couple years ago. If you have waitlisted segments, there is no charge to switch to them if they clear. (This is when you have award segments or upgrades pending for regular segments that have no availability. DL theoretically allows you up to 4 waitlists at a time, though I have been on as many as 8 on a single itinerary. You can only waitlist for DL flights, not other carriers. This is a nice feature that not most carriers do since you can waitlist better flights/dates and switch to them for free if they open up.)

    Redeposit/ASC are waived for PMs (Platinum Medallions), but if you’re a PM you probably know about that and the other extra benefits you get. All elites get the extra baggage fee waived; in fact, all elites get up to 3 bags for free (though it’s unclear if they still get 70lbs/bag, or if it’s now down to the normal 50lbs/bag.)

    Overall, these fees are pretty bad, and give me another reason not to fly Delta even having status with them.

    Now, the part that’s really bad is the combination of the Other Airline handling fee and the Direct Ticketing fee. Why? Well, Delta allows you to use your miles for tickets on their SkyTeam partners and several other partner airlines; 20 airlines in total at the moment according to delta.com. You can make award reservations on delta.com for free, including putting a 48 hour hold on a ticket before purchasing it. However, currently you can only book Delta/Continental/Northwest flights on their website, and often times even those don’t work properly! So to get on any other airline, or even for a DL-only award if the website won’t price it out properly, you now have to call in to do it. The phone agents are also able to do MUCH more thorough searches and put together more creative itineraries than the website is able to do.

    You also used to be able to make a reservation over the phone, put a 48 hour hold on it, and redeem it on the web for free. No more. If you reserve over the phone (which, as stated above, you are FORCED to do much of the time) you can no longer place a hold on the ticket; you must book it immediately, and pay the $25 fee.

    So, to book anything but a basic DL-only award (assuming the website is working), it now costs the $25 phone ticketing fee (other than for CO/NW flights that you can get on delta.com) + the new $25 other airline segment fee, for a total of $50 in charges for a redemption that was previously free. AND you cannot put the award on hold to do things like confirm hotels and rental cars before you ticket it! This is absolutely ridiculous, and as far as I know every other major US airline lets you place at least a 1 – 2 day hold on an award.

    There are other negative changes that DL is making to the award system, specifically the move from 25k/50k base tiers to 25k/40k/60k base tiers. Since availability for SkySaver (the 25k base tier) awards is already pretty bad compared to, say, AA at their 25k level, this just makes it worse.

  31. Alger says:

    @oakie: Tall people can fit in a single seat? Really? What’s your idea of tall, five-foot-six? I’m six feet one, and spend every flight with my knees pressed against the seat in front of me.

  32. iMike says:

    I status matched to AA earlier this year. Call and ask for the “Gold Challenge” or “Platinum Challenge” and they’ll set you up.

    Other carriers have similar schemes. I know that NW and UA do, anyway.

  33. DCGaymer says:

    Delta is SO over.

  34. descend says:

    Pets in the cabin? That would be damn annoying. What if it’s a dog that won’t stop yapping away?

  35. johnva says:

    @oakie: Obviously you’re not that tall if you think that tall people of proper weight can fit in a single seat. I’m fine side-to-side, but my knees inevitably hit the seat in front of me, especially if the person in front of me reclines. I’m 6’1 with a lot of my height in my legs. Well over 10% of the adult male population in the U.S. is over 6 feet tall, and I imagine most of those people find coach airline travel at least somewhat uncomfortable.

  36. psychos says:

    My last post seemed to get lost, so I’ll try this again as two. First, since the terms are confusing to anyone who doesn’t fly DL a lot, I’ll try to explain them to the best of my knowledge.

    Curbside Check-in: Free -> $3 (each bag)
    This is for checking your bags with a skycap at the curb. Just go inside and check your bags there. This one is especially bad for the skycaps because it will cause them to lose a lot of tips with people thinking the $3 goes to them.

    Direct Ticketing Charge (DTC): $20 -> $25
    This is the fee for booking a paid or award ticket over the phone or with an airport/city ticket office agent. This is in line with what other airlines charge (but has SIGNIFICANT price-gouging effects with regard to award tickets; see below.)

    External Reissue Charge (ERC): $20 -> $30
    This is the fee for Delta “taking over” a ticket booked by a 3rd party (Orbitz, your corporate travel agent, etc) rather than through Delta, if you want to make changes to it. In my experience, it often is not applied. Book directly through Delta when you can.

    SkyMiles OA Award Handling Charge: Free -> $25
    OA == Other Airline. This is an absurd new fee that is charged if you book an award ticket that has at least one segment on an airline other than Delta. No other carrier charges this. None of Delta’s partners charge you extra to book on Delta’s flights! Expect other carriers to start instituting this.

    SkyMiles Award Ticket Mileage Redeposit Fee: $75 -> $100
    This is the fee for canceling an award ticket and getting your miles back. This is in line with what other airlines charge.

    Administrative Service Charge: $75 -> $100
    This is the fee for making changes to an award or paid ticket, or for canceling a paid non-refundable ticket. If you change a paid ticket, you pay $100 + the fare difference from your original ticket to what the current fare is, or $100 + any mileage difference for an award ticket (they will give you money or miles back if you end up with a negative value.) If you cancel a non-refundable ticket, you get an e-credit voucher (usable online or on the phone) for the value of the ticket – $100 that is good for one year. Delta’s e-credit policy is more reasonable than many airlines, because you can incrementally use an e-credit over time until depleted (some airlines make you use it all at once and lose any value remaining.) You can also use it for anyone’s ticket (some airlines only let you book tickets for yourself with e-credits.) The $100 fee is in line with what other airlines charge, but significantly more than the $50 that Delta charged just a couple years ago which was industry-leading.

    Checked Bag Fee (not listed): Free -> $25 for 2nd bag

    PMs (Platinum Medallions) are exempt from redeposit fees and ASCs on award tickets, but if you’re one you probably knew that. All Medallions are exempt from the curbside checkin fee, and are also exempt from the checked bag fee. (Medallions actually get 3 checked bags for free still, though it’s unclear if the limit is still 70lbs or if it’s the normal 50lb limit now.)

  37. Amy Alkon000 says:

    I imagine a jack russell terrier or other fairly vocal pet would drive the entire cabin nuts.

    Some of us have trained dogs. I purposely got a Yorkshire terrier (hair, not fur, so it doesn’t kick up people’s allergies), and spent months training her. She not only uses a litter box when I’m not home and she has to go, she’ll lay quietly for hours. When I’m in France, I take her everywhere with me. She even came with me to an evolutionary psych conference at the Frei University in Berlin, where she slept politely in my lap in all the lectures. She only barked after Richard Dawkins’ keynote speech in a big auditorium and probably only because she’d never heard applause before.

    In short, if people have bratty dogs, don’t blame the dog.

  38. sasper says:

    @Alger: I’m 6’4″ and can handle flights just fine, although it’s not comfortable unless I’m in an exit row.

    And I completely agree with oakie.

  39. johnva says:

    @sasper: Unfortunately the airlines seem to be making it harder/more expensive to get an exit row seat (by only selling them for higher fare tickets).

  40. azntg says:

    Can’t wait to see the advertisements on the subway soon:

    (Rotated and Bevelled Red Delta Logo) Change is… HIGHER FEES!

    I never understood why the airlines don’t simply charge higher exorbitant fares and just include more complimentary services? Chances are, not everybody will use the service and that people who do won’t feel nickel and dimed at every turn. It seems like that’s what some foreign airlines are doing (I’m looking at you Asiana)

  41. johnva says:

    @azntg: I think they’re doing this sort of thing for the same reason any business does it: to pad their bottom line while not having to prominently advertise their increased fares. Sleazy, but unfortunately common.

  42. psychos says:

    @psychos:

    Can a moderator please delete this redundant post (and this one?) Thank you.

  43. NoWin says:

    Cripes….air-travel is getting so wallet-hungry that it’s now cheaper to drive and have that cross-country excursion you talked about when you were in college….

  44. MeOhMy says:

    @descend:

    What if it’s a dog that won’t stop yapping away?

    Count your blessings that it’s not a teenager yapping away or a two-year-old screaming away? :-)

  45. PHX602 says:

    All these fees are going to the new advertising campaign:

    With Delta Air Lines….

    Bag too heavy? Fuck you, pay us.
    Need to check an extra bag? Fuck you, pay us.
    Can’t fit in the seat? Fuck you, pay us.
    Need to use the lav on a four hour ATL-LAX flight? Fuck you, pay us.
    Want to redeem those frequent flyer miles? Fuck you, pay us.
    Want to chat with our Mumbai-based staff to purchase a ticket? Fuck you, pay us.

  46. Flibbetigibbet says:

    Another one of the many reasons why I quit flying Delta (and I live in Atlanta). Turned all my SkyMiles into tickets (on partner airlines, natch) last year, and just cancelled and cut up my Delta Amex before another year’s service fee could be charged to it.

    Blow me, Delta. Go broke for all I care. When Southwest can still make half a billion in profit this year (per USA Today last week), that’s all the proof I need that your problems are your own, not due to fuel prices.

  47. DogTown says:

    Maybe if I keep them talking on the phone long enough I can charge them my conversation fee that will cover the price of my flight.

  48. LynchMob52 says:

    Pets should not be allowed in the cabin period. This is one of my biggest pet peeves (no pun intended). People need to realize that pets are animals and not accessories. No one wants your little rat dog yapping all flight and some people have severe allergies to pet hair.

  49. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    @oakie:
    You missed it with overweight (about 15-20 lbs). I’m overweight and I know a lot of overweight people, but we fit comfortably in airline seats.

    Its Obese long before its “Fat rolls in the next seat” time.

  50. @OneMHz: I asked that once; I’m somewhat allergic to dogs and was seated next to one that was giving me problems. The stewardesses ignored me, and when I complained on the ground, I got vouchers and I was told basically the policy limits the number of pets per flight to what the air filtration system is supposed to be able to handle without causing allergy problems for flyers, and they’re supposed to move people with allergies if they’re having a problem because of proximity.

    I’m a little surprised they don’t take it into account when assigning seats, but I’ve flown on many other flights with dogs since, no trouble, so I guess it works.

    @brooksosheffield: Flying pets in baggage is very dangerous, not allowed if the outdoor temperature is above or below certain numbers, and has a hell of a lot more liability than letting them in the cabin. They also require special handling, etc. in baggage.

    @moore850: Size restrictions. They must fit under the seat, and they must be able to comfortably turn around in the underseat carrier. That’s about it. They also limit the number per flight, based on size of plane.

    As for noise, since they’re on the floor, it’s relatively muffled by the sound of the engines. Much harder to hear if they’re not on your ear level.

    I’ve flown with my cat (unsedated; my vet was against it and my cat loves to car travel, so we gave the plane a shot), and he was happy as a clam. He chatted a little bit when I put him under the seat (Um, dude? I’m still here?) but when I talked back (so he knew he wasn’t forgotten), he curled up and slept the entire flight. He liked the airport part (a lot to look at, and all the excitement tired him out for the flight).

    My only complaint about the process is that the carrier goes through the X-ray and the cat goes through the metal detector with you, and my cat made a valiant effort to escape. Also by the time we arrived at the destination I think he’d been in the carrier around 8 or 9 hours (house-airport-plane-airport-house), and he was ready to get out, even though he’s generally a good traveler.

  51. @LynchMob52: That’d be a neat trick, most people are allergic to the dander.

    My pet flew with me because it’s a family member, not a lifestyle accessory, and we were MOVING. I wasn’t about to leave him behind, and the car wasn’t an option. I also wasn’t about to risk his death in the baggage hold when he could fly in the cabin much more safely.

    And I’m allergic to perfume, but they haven’t banned that. When you go out in public, you have to accept a little give and take, sheesh!

  52. MissPeacock says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: Your cat? Is awesome. That is all.

  53. AMetamorphosis says:

    Fat is fat.
    Period.

    I don’t care if someone is fat or not but what I do resent is having to give up a portion of my seat because someone is obese.

    It should fall under the excess baggage charge and they should pay accordingly.

  54. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    @johnva:
    Being tall may make YOU uncomfortable (and some airlines are considering adding legroom to some rows, with an extra charge. If you take up more room on the plane, its reasonable to pay more.

    The Obese are taking up more room, and stealing it from the paying passengers next to them.

  55. Snarkysnake says:

    When the history of this airline is written after it’s final flight,(probably sooner than they think),business scholars will marvel at the arrogance and stupidity that the management of this company has displayed on it’s way to extinction. Fee increases like the ones in the memo above are just another case in point. None of these fee grabs have anything to do with the cost of jet fuel,but they are portrayed as an effect of it’s rising price. These announcements again highlight the fact that Delta is trying to load a crushing cost structure onto the ever dwindling number of passengers that they are trying to serve.I hope that the assholes that run Delta (Yes- they are assholes) can’t find a job when they run this company straight into the ground.

    Ordinarily,this is the part where somebody writes that the management screwed the pooch and the employees are victims too,blah,blah,blah… Not from Me. Delta employees don’t give a shit and haven’t given a shit in years. I hope they
    end up under a bridge begging for food and water right next to their former managers.

  56. Pink Puppet says:

    @oakie: You are being completely inappropriate right now. There is no reason to be so incredibly vitriolic.

  57. KogeLiz says:

    @sasper: Wow. My boyfriend is 6’4″ and it is extremely uncomfortable for him to be on a flight – especially if it is more than just a couple of hours.
    Maybe he has extra long legs or something.

  58. KogeLiz says:

    @Amy Alkon: Wow. So are you one of those people that ignore all the “dogs not allowed” signs because yours is ‘special’ and ‘trained’ ?

  59. KogeLiz says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: They are animals.

  60. AMetamorphosis says:

    @KogeLiz:

    You’ve never been to Paris have you ?

  61. joewehr says:

    Administrative Fee for Curbside Check-in
    Check-in -$3 fee per curb-checked item?????????????/

    This makes NO sense

    They alienate 1) the passenger (increased cost, inconvenience and checkin time), 2) the curbside skycaps (decreased income) and 3) their counter checkin staff (more work).

    More people will carry luggage on the plane resulting in 1) longer to board and deplane, 2) more in the overhead bins, 3) longer lines at the security check, and 4) more TSA staff.

    I thought they were trying to reduce labor cost. This will require more counter checkin staff.

    What business is Delta in? When did Delta become a baggage handling company?

    If this represents decision-making within Delta, it’s no wonder they lose money.

  62. MissPinkKate says:

    I fly with my dog in cabin fairly regularly, and the increase in the in-cabin fee from 75 to 100 is ridiculous, particularly since the fee was already raised from 50 to 75 this year. Delta is going to hear from me about this, for sure.

  63. Balentius says:

    @AustinTXProgrammer: “If you take up more room on the plane, its reasonable to pay more.

    The Obese are taking up more room, and stealing it from the paying passengers next to them. “

    So, using this same logic, kids (or smaller adults) take up less space, so they should pay less? Or, the 75-year old grandmother that is 4’11″?

    Personally, I don’t like sitting next to someone that is larger than the seat. Unfortunately, the last flight I took had at least %40 of the people on the isle that fit that definition. If the airlines would quit shrinking the seats, it wouldn’t be so much of a problem! Plus, I know a few overweight people, and they aren’t any happier than you are…

    However, to make you (and oakie) happy, obviously someone should create a “miniature” airline, and only allow people of your size and smaller to fly on it.

  64. MeOhMy says:

    @AMetamorphosis: Or anywhere in Europe! It can be surprising to learn that rest of the world doesn’t all share in America’s bizarre fear of creatures that walk on all fours!

  65. MeOhMy says:

    @Balentius:

    So, using this same logic, kids (or smaller adults) take up less space, so they should pay less? Or, the 75-year old grandmother that is 4’11″?

    Seats are not divisible. If you could fit 2 old ladies in one seat you might be on to something.

  66. Orv says:

    @azntg: The reason they don’t just raise fares is people comparison shop based on fares. They don’t notice the fees until later. Raising these fees is a way of hiding the price increase from customers.

  67. AMetamorphosis says:

    @Balentius:

    Your comparing apples & oranges … or should I say Watermelons.

  68. @KogeLiz: Are you suggesting that the appropriate thing to do would have been to abandon my cat rather than take him with me moving when a car was not an option? Because incidentally, that’s how I got my second cat, some asshole who deciding moving with a pet was just too damned much trouble. He came out of the abandonment experience with one eye and a stump tail.

    I don’t take my cats out to brunch or feed them caviar or vacation with them. They’re companion animals, not lifestyle accessories and not people. But I’m not going to endanger or abandon my pets because some pet owners have boundary issues and some jerks have other-people’s-pets issues.

    @MissPeacock: LOL, he thinks he’s people. Whatever the people are doing, including going in the car, is what he wants to be doing. The other cat thinks he’s a MORON.

    (His funniest trick is if a bunch of people are watching TV, he will claim a chair (and will NOT SHARE, since nobody else is sharing) and stare at the TV too … but he keeps sneaking a look around every few minutes to be sure we’re all still playing this stupid staring-at-box game.)

  69. Orv says:

    I can see the argument for people flying with pets. Around here there’s a push to allow them in *restaurants*, though, which I think goes a little too far. They’re pets, not children.

  70. picardia says:

    I’ve run into a lot of human beings who were problematic on flights, and never once run into an animal who caused any trouble. Apparently most owners are good judges of whether their pets can successfully travel on a plane. I don’t have one myself, but I have sat next to people with pets many times — and often been unaware of it until the very end of the flight.

    I definitely think that airplane crew should work to move somebody who’s allergic, but other than that, anybody who has a beef with a well-behaved pet on a plane is just a crank.

  71. Major-General says:

    @oakie: You’re bad in general. Airlines fly passengers with less seat pitch than prison ships to Australia (36 inches) or seat width than slave ships to the New World (20 inches).

  72. TechnoDestructo says:

    @AMetamorphosis:

    How exactly would that help YOU? You’re not getting any extra money or any discount, and you’re still getting a lap full of flab.

    Oh, and fat is not fat. There are plenty of fat people who fit in their own seats. We’re only talking about extreme obesity here. (Which is still lamentably common)

    (I’ve been crammed between two morbidly obese people on a plane before, and that ain’t happening again.)

  73. lesspopmorefizz says:

    @Eyebrows McGee:

    You rule. I get so furious when people give up their pets because they are moving. It’s not an excuse. It’s irresponsible and shows you shouldn’t have had a pet to begin with.

  74. cmac says:

    My dog always travels with me for personal travel, so I was searching other airlines websites and found this little jewel from United:

    Fees
    For travel before May 5, 2008, the charge for pets that travel with you in the cabin is USD $85.00 within the U.S. and between the U.S., Canada, and U.S. territories. For travel on/after May 5, 2008, the fee will be USD $100.00. International rates vary by destination.

  75. Fly Girl says:

    @Orv: That’s a really good point, and it makes the case for using travel agents. At least for using a GOOD travel agent. A good travel agent knows the hidden fees and what each airline charges for them and can tell you that you’ll actually end up spending MORE if you buy that cheap ticket on airline A rather than buying that moderately priced ticket on airline B. Same thing goes with fuel surcharges– they’re not all made equally, and a good travel agent will be able to tell you that airline A’s super-cheap ticket is actually going to end up MORE expensive than airline B’s moderately priced ticket after you take into account the fuel surcharge…

  76. cmac says:

    That’s each way. So it will be $200 per trip.

  77. AMetamorphosis says:

    @TechnoDestructo:

    I guess I didn’t clarify … meaning if someone is that obese their “excess baggage” fee means they pay for two seats.

  78. LJKelley says:

    If Delta or any other airline wants to raise their fares so be it. But quit doing it in hidden fees. There needs to be regulation on this.

  79. @12-Inch Idongivafuck Sandwich: So, now that they are charging for curbside check-in, the tips for the curb baggage guys are going to go down.

    Yup: Skycaps sue airline over tips lost to bag fee [Boston Globe]

    What costs for curbside check-in do they need to recoup that isn’t offset by paying a slave’s labor wage to the workers? I suspect it’s just a standard anti-consumer case of “Hey, people like curbside check-in and they’re willing to tip. Let’s monetize it. Bingo, instant $10-$30 million added to our bottom line. (p.s. Fuck the workers.)”

  80. Landru says:

    I flew Southwest from PDX to OAK on Easter on a fully packed plane. A very large German-speaking woman with a blond beehive hairdo and leopard print outfit was among the last to board. She had a Pekingese in her arms. I had one of the last empty seats next to me. The guy on the other side of it and I looked at each other and without a word, we both leaned in to try to hide the seat. She found a seat closer to the front, but the guy near me was still outraged. He said he was allergic to dogs and couldn’t believe they would allow a dog on a plane. I was surprised too, but we made it to Oakland without incident.

    The crew didn’t do anything special at all, so the additional fee makes no sense to me.

  81. krom says:

    Yeah, those additional 60-100 pound kids really weigh down on the plane. It’s much more economical to also have an unnecessary 120-200 pound adult fly with the child, or better yet, not have the child fly, and put a 120-220 pound adult in their place.

  82. @LynchMob52: Pets should not be allowed in the cabin period… No one wants your little rat dog yapping all flight.

    Neither should babies. I’m allergic to your whiney kid. Put them in the cargo hold, where they belong.

    Oh and during holiday time, new rule: either get two pairs of headphones or tell your little brats that only one gets sound with Dora the Explorer.

    That’s right: you should inconvenience your own kids before inconveniencing everyone else.

    Note: Do not take seriously.

  83. Snullbug says:

    I recently flew Delta from Minneapolis to Raleigh-Durham. Behind me was a couple with two children under the age of three. The children screamed and kicked the back of my seat for the entire flight. The flight attendants did nothing although several passengers complained. I would have loved to exchange them for yappy dogs. Dogs do occasionally shut up.

    On the other hand, who in their right mind flies Delta? (my flight was business related, booked by my employer).

  84. lihtox says:

    @oakie: How about a $50 fee for pompous gits? They’re much worse to fly with then people with a few extra pounds.

  85. holocron says:

    Ahhh…deregulation.

  86. ManPurse says:

    I have never been on a plane and heard a dog yapping or cat meowing or whatever people are saying.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and possit a theory that people are generally responsible enough to not bring crazy animals on a plane. And if they have crazy animals there are these things that vets provide called … drugs.

  87. Ciao_Bambina says:

    @Landru: First of all, what did this woman’s size, language, hair style or fashion sense have to do with anything? Sounds like you were more worried about getting cooties from her than the dog.

    Second, “Southwest Airlines does not accept live animals in the aircraft cabin or cargo compartment other than fully trained assistance animals accompanying a person with a disability or being delivered to a person with a disability.” This is straight from the SW policies manual.

    Because I fly SW all the time, I have seen animals brought on flights from time to time. Only rarely is there a problem. If a passenger is allergic and complains to a flight attendant, they will ask over the PA system for a volunteer to trade seats. That is usually good for a free drink or two if you ask nicely!

    Different topic: BTW, boys, some of you may say that you are not fat, but muscular. Weeeelllll….

    Just because I happen to be a small woman and only taking up 16 of my alloted 19 inches of seat doesn’t I am willing to share the leftovers with you. Get your meaty, “muscular” thigh off of me!

    If you ever fly SW around the West Coast and encounter a small blonde with violet eyes who calls you “bambino” and tells you to move over, well, that would be me. And you’d better move over.

  88. dragonfire81 says:

    It’s amazing to me how many companies choose this route without seeing the damage it will cause.

    “Our expenses are increasing so let’s raise fees on already cash strapped customers.”

    This causes several issues 1) Airline travelers will stay away from Delta because of all the fees 2) Delta customers will fly with other airlines. 3) Potential travelers will either fly with another airline or maybe not fly altogether, having being priced out of the market by Delta’s fees.

    This decision will cost them money in the long run. The higher fees won’t offset costs if you now have far fewer paying customers to cover them.

  89. Late on the uptake, but I find this whole thread very interesting. Yeah, it’s kind of shitty to raise fees twice in one year, and some of these fees for services that don’t actually involve much if any effort by the airline are getting ridiculous (on-board pets for example, where the airline does nothing but filter their dander out of the air, apparently). That said, if you take a look at the fees for all of the other major non-discount airlines, they look about the same. Northwest will now charge you $25 for a second piece of luggage, and $15 for reserving an exit row seat. American, Northwest, and United have all had $100 change fees for some time (up above as the new $100 administrative service charge). American has also been charging $2 for each bag for curbside check-in. Right or wrong, it’s the way that pretty much all airlines are trying to bolster revenue without actual fare increases, even the discount airlines.

    That said, most of these fees can be easily avoided by the average traveler – book direct through the airline online (use a third party site like kayak.com or mobissimo.com to compare prices), and then try to avoid changing it as much as possible. If you absolutely must change, call the airline, since with a good enough reason you may get the asc waived (and they don’t charge you the booking fee for changing over the phone if the reservation was made through their own website). It seems the lesson in this for Delta is just not to provide as much publicity for their increased fees… but personally I appreciate at least being warned.

  90. sean77 says:

    There should be a $1000 surcharge for babies.

  91. squikysquiken says:

    @oakie: wow, you are a real winner aren’t you?

  92. Aquitaine says:

    Fears about sitting next to “yappy” dogs are generally unfounded. Pet owners who are serious enough to consider bringing their dog on a flight will generally 1) not fly the dog if the dog will go ballistics; 2) will make sure their dog is sedated to make it through the flight calmly; or 3) know that their dog will travel well. To go on the plane, dogs must be below 20 lbs and stay in their carrying case, which must fit below the seat.

    I have flown many times with my dog, a very well-behaved, small, Cavalier spaniel who doesn’t make a single peep during the flight. It is rare that anyone (including flight attendants) knows he is on board, and it makes my blood boil that the fees to take a dog have increased!

    My dog, in a carrying case, REPLACES a carry-on. I am not taking any additional space by bringing a dog on my flight, as I might by bringing on a suitcase that has to be stowed above or by being obscenely overweight. The dog MUST fit under the seat in front of me. I am making a choice to bring my dog rather than a carry-on. And I have to pay $100 extra, each way, for the privilege? It is a completely gratuitous fee. There is NO additional cost to the airline to let me bring my dog on board, as it’s an even weight swap.

    That being said – if someone is allergic to a dog is seated next to someone with a dog and it’s actively causing a reaction, I think the flight attendants should exercise full efforts to get that person in a new seat. But since the dogs aren’t allowed out of their cage – no hair is getting on the seats or anywhere that *should* cause a reaction.