Crappy Food, Flimsy Headphones & 5 Other Things That Used To Be Free On Flights

Somewhere in the last two decades, airplane food went from comedy punchline to premium purchase (though the quality is still often laughable), airline headphones went from “crappy but they’ll do in a pinch” to “crappy but I have to pay up to $5 for them,” and you may soon need to pay to join the mile-high club on some airlines. It was enough to make the folks at KIVI TV nostalgiac enough to look back at 7 former freebies we no longer enjoy.

1. Luggage: Gone are the days of checking your bags for free on most airlines. Now you’re likely paying at least $25/bag — or trying to figure out how to cram everything you need into your carry-on.

2. Food: With the exception of snacks, eating on most airlines is going to cost you a small fortune for food you’d normally turn your nose up at. More and more passengers are bringing grub from home or stocking up at the shops on the airport concourses.

3. Creature Comforts: Many airlines now charge for once-free amenities like pillows and blankets. Once again, passengers are packing their own so they don’t have to pay upwards of $8.

4. Headphones: They’re just about as good as the headphones that came with your transistor radio in 1977, but now you have to pay anywhere between $1-$5 for them. That’s another thing to remember to pack…

5. Leg Room: While airplanes have never really been known as places you could stretch your legs, it’s only recently that airlines began actually charging extra for seats in the bulkhead or exit rows, where you can get those few inches of precious legroom.

6. Booking: Heaven forbid you try to book directly through the airline over the phone or in person. It used to be that airlines offered discounts for booking online, but that’s since become a service charge for when you can’t. Thankfully, with the spread of WiFi and web-enabled phones, it’s becoming easier to book online from just about anywhere.

7. Changing Your Plans: Have to come back early? Or maybe stay an extra day? Even if you’re changing to a less-expensive flight, you’ll likely be paying anywhere from $75 to $300 for the change.

Which ones do you miss the most?

7 air travel perks that used to be free [KIVI TV]