Presenting Even More Reasons To Hate Airlines!

Do you find yourself feeling too at peace with baggage fees, missed connections and seemingly inane delays at airports? Don’t worry, here are 20 more reasons to be irate at airlines!

For those of you just aren’t mad enough at all the things airlines can do wrong, Time has compiled a lengthy list of outrages sure to get your blood boiling.

A few of our favorites (titles are Time‘s):

The Hub System: Claiming territory in certain cities helps airlines to get in good with an area after deregulation of fixed prices ended in 1978, but there’s a big, bad downside: bottlenecks galore! Major carriers consolidated their routes around their turf, or hubs, which means that at peak hours and in bad weather, these monopolies create big problems in traffic.

Frequent Flyer Gimmickry: Whatever happened to mileage perks? Airlines are charging booking fees within set time periods when you finally earn enough miles for that free flight, or sometimes limiting the amount of frequent-flyer seats on a plane, especially during times of heavy travel. You know, like the summer, when everyone wants to travel.

Bye-Bye Standby: Used to be, unforeseen circumstances could cause flight cancellations or changes in schedule, and airlines accommodated by offering standby. But now, a new beast is rearing its ugly head. Most airlines now have “confirmed standby,” which just means you can get a seat on another flight that day, but for a fee. Some even charge the fee for an unconfirmed seat. The injustice!

Check out the full list over at Time.

And So It Continues – 20 Reasons to Hate the Airlines [Time]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Daverson says:

    We need reasons now?

  2. dreamsneverend says:

    It’s funny, I used to look forward to flying, now I am faced with how many ways I can possibly be nickel and dimed when I fly. Overhead bins used to be full of blankets and pillows, now you have to cram whatever you can in them so you aren’t paying for luggage! Being 6’8 I of course used to be able to show up EARLY at the airport and was sometimes rewarded with the chance to get an exit row seat, now it’s a $40+ perk per LEG of my trip.

    So now you end up with me uncomfortable and the person in front of me unable to put their seat back at all. Of course I am the minority so it’s not really a blip on their bottom line, but I drive when I can these days.

    • GTI2.0 says:

      Well, in all fairness, you can now pay $40 and show up an hour early, just like everyone else. Many would look at that as a benefit.

    • LostTurntable says:

      Us tall people need to sue. It’s a health hazard that they make us squeeze into seats that aren’t designed for us. They make fat people buy two tickets, but God forbid they take some accountability and do something nice for people who can’t fit into their seats through NO FAULT of their own.

    • Putaro says:

      Everyone except small children is uncomfortable in those damn seats. You’re just MORE uncomfortable.

  3. shockwaver1 says:

    Charging for a carry-on bag? Wow.

    And isn’t charging a surcharge to fly on popular days the same as increasing gas prices for a long weekend – IE: Price Gouging?

    • humphrmi says:

      To be fair, Spirit Airlines is the only one toying with carry-on fees, and there is little sign that other carriers are going to follow suit. Spirit is like the American version of Ryan Air – whatever they do, most other airlines take as text book “how to p1$$ off your customers.”

      Price gouging applies to selling commodities, such as gasoline and some foods. Airlines are free to set their fares however they wish. In fact, this “peak fee” is one of the few that’s actually reflected in the quoted fare. I’m not a big fan of these fees, but at least they’re being honest about that one.

    • outlulz says:

      Yeah but at least an increase in gas prices still means the government still gets a cut of the sales in taxes. The airlines make up all these fees which are exempt from taxes and are 100% profit.

  4. runswithscissors says:

    I now avoid flying whenever I can. I chose vacations based on being able to drive. I weasel and argue at work to change trips into teleconferences.

    Surely I’m not the only one who has started doing this in the past decade or so. If enough of us do it, surely it must hurt their bottom line, no? And if it does, they would start charging the remaining customers crazy fees- Ohhhhhhhhh.

    The airlines are painting themselves into a corner. Cost cutting, nickel-and-diming, and ridiculous customer non-service are simply delaying the symptoms while making the underlying disease worse.

    • sleze69 says:

      Well as troublesome as flying can be, there is no substitute for being face to face with someone in a meeting. If you are dialing into a conference with more than 5 people, you will miss A LOT of discussion and will not be privy to sidebars.

      • antifox says:

        I went looking for an Amtrak trip to some of the west national parks All sold out- keep up the good work and get more people on board, my enjoyable trips are on a train, flying I need medications and alcohol.
        all add on fees are pure profit ticket prices are not all profit so they are not being that nice having a flight from the small airport to a bigger one to go “oversees” just more flights to get you to pay more add on fees.

  5. nygenxer says:

    Deregulation has done wonders for the telephone system, the electrical grid, the airlines industry, energy exploration and the banking system.

    Let’s give a cheer for socialism for industry and capitalism for everyone else. Hip hip hooray!

  6. James says:

    Why is their 13 – the option to purchase a club membership for a day, a bad thing? #10 is the TSA, which has nothing to do with airlines.

    I actually enjoy airports, flying and traveling. I’m prepared enough that I know what to expect, and non of these make me overly miserable. Sure it’s not 1970s legroom, but think about how great it is you can jump from city to city for $200-$300. And you CAN get more legroom via the Economy Plus and such offers – but that wades into a la carte fees which nobody likes

    “Airlines suck” just seems to be a common water cooler topic, and the fact that it’s so drilled into everyone’s head means someone experiencing a normal or average flight will come out looking for something to complaint about, rather than enjoying the marvel of the flight.

    • Emperor Norton I says:

      The price of a one day membership far exceeds what it actually costs the airline. Many people just what a quiet, semi-private place to relax for a few hours between flights. They don’t use the other features of the lounges.

      And TSA has everything to do with the airlines.
      1. If the airlines had done their jobs correctly in performing the screening, TSA wouldn’t have been needed to take over from them.
      2. If the airlines would demand Congress fix TSA, then Congress would. But the airlines have no clout with Congress anymore because of their fighting the very reasonable 3 hour limit to be stuck on a grounded plane!
      Even before TSA, the airlines employed idiots for the screening.
      The worst example I know of is when WWII ace Joe Foss was flying & the airline screener saw his Medal of Honor [which was in its wood presentation case, with the ribbon that goes around the neck] & assumed it was a kung fu throwing star!
      I don’t know of any throwing stars that come with a ribbon & have the word “Valor” cast into them!

      • jpbeme says:

        Why shouldn’t they charge more than it costs? Even if it is FAR more than it costs? If people didn’t want to pay it, they wouldn’t. Obviously some feel it is worth the price or the airlines would have changed the cost structure of the club rooms.

        As you to your two points…
        Your point 1 is invalid. You imply there was a failure of past security firms that allowed the terrorist attacks, which led to the TSA being created. Everything the terrorists brought on the plane were perfectly legal. There were no failures at security.
        Your point 2 has a false premise. The airlines have been demanding changes with the TSA ever since it was formed. Just because you don’t see it on the evening news doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

        At least when security was run by private firms the public knew when one company was failing their screening tests. Now, with the TSA, they restrict that information.

  7. James says:

    Also hubs and spokes are a good thing too. For example it allows one to fly from Casper, Wyoming to London. And connects tiny communities to big cities. The pricing in small markets is high, and the government subsidies is a controversial issue, but the concept works.

    Thankfully most “fortress hubs” are gone too. Delta used to rule Atlanta. Now Airtran competes with them. 15 years ago fares were extremely high in Denver because United ruled them. Now with Frontier and Southwest all competing on shared routes fares couldn’t be better.

    In all the complaining people still forget how insanely cheap it is to fly from A to B, which in the end helps cities, tourism and families see each other more.

    Not trying to sound like an apologist — just some counterpoints.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      The hub system and its regional counterpart played a big part into that Continental Crash a year or so ago.

  8. dreamfish says:

    I like the *idea* of flying. I just don’t like actually flying.

  9. energynotsaved says:

    I just spent 30 minutes booking hotel and rental car for an upcoming trip that I must take. I spent hours booking the flight. Unfortunately, In order to make the trip, we have to leave Atlanta at 7:30 in the morning AND we must change planes. I dread it.

    Even more than the cost, the hassle, the little kid-sitting behind me kicking my seat, the mom with the screaming baby sitting next to me, and the fees-gone-wild, I dread the flight attendants. They are mean.

    • eyesack is the boss of the DEFAMATION ZONE says:

      Maybe I’m just low maintenance (or I know the drill ‘cuz I fly 6-8 times a month), but what kinds of interactions with flight attendants are you having? This is a complete list of phrases I have used, EVER, while in a plane:

      “Oh, thank you!” (Upgraded to first glass at the gate)
      “Gin and tonic.” (I got upgraded, you don’t think I’m going to take all these free drinks?!”
      “Yes.” (I understand the Laws of the Exit Row.)
      “No.” (Nah, your bag of weird pretzels don’t appeal to me.)
      “Coke Zero, thanks.” (You can figure this one out.)

      There is no vector through which this can get mean. What are you doing with these people?

  10. ElizabethD says:

    Next time I go to Europe (last time was 25 years ago!), I’m booking passage on a tramp steamer. If they still exist.

    • dreamfish says:

      send yourself as freight

    • gabrewer says:

      I recall reading many years ago that it was possible to book passenger rooms — for very reasonable prices — on cargo ships. Although slight on amenities, this article indicated that the food was actually pretty good, as these ships had good cooks that kept the crew well fed. Not sure such situations still exist, but I would be interested if any one knows.

  11. Jevia says:

    I think this is just evidence showing how deregulation ended up not working “as intended” just like in the banking industry.

    • ttw1 says:

      “Since passenger deregulation in 1978, airline prices have fallen 44.9 percent in real terms according to the Air Transport Association. Robert Crandall and Jerry Ellig (1997) estimated that when figures are adjusted for changes in quality and amenities, passengers save $19.4 billion dollars per year from airline deregulation. These savings have been passed on to 80 percent of passengers accounting for 85 percent of passenger miles. The real benefits of airline deregulation are being felt today as never before, with LCCs increasingly gaining market share.” (LCCs- low-cost carriers)

    • Mr_Human says:

      Yeah, I have to disagree with that. In the 70s, my parents and us kids would fly to Europe once a a year to visit relatives. Seats in economy were like $650 roundtrip each for the adults. Until a few years ago, I could bag round trips to Europe for under $500. Despite all the hassles, in real dollars flying is much cheaper than before deregulation.

  12. arachne says:

    We used to take four business trips a year by air. We’ve taken one in the past two years and driven the other seven. It takes more time, but it’s more relaxing and we arrive in a better mood.

  13. DarksSideMoon says:

    You’ll hate them till they’re gone. In America we have this skewed philosophy that we can get things for nothing in return. You want air travel to be awesome again? Then expect to pay through the nose even more for tickets. You can’t get (Relative to the 60’s) cheap air travel without getting nickel and dimed, and getting crammed into coach with as many other people as possible.

  14. SilentAgenger says:

    Re: #19 — Isn’t this just another shifty way of getting money for carry-ons? Instead of outright charging us for carry-on luggage, they’re taking advantage of the people abusing the system (the ones that have too many bags, oversized bags, etc)…the very same group of people who are gradually getting wise to the fact that there is limited overhead storage and are thus becoming more anxious to board the plane as soon as possible so they can grab any available storage space.

    • outlulz says:

      You can’t really abuse the system. If the bag is too big it wont fit through the scanner or it wont fit in the carry-on bin and they make you check it. If you have too many bags they make you check it.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        If each passanger brought the largest sized carryone they were allowed there would not be enough room. the airlines are counting on most people bringing smaller backpacks, messanger bags and laptop cases instead of full size carry ons.

  15. montusama says:

    What happens if i want to make a really random trip somewhere….? I’ll just get charged a bunch of fees to take an otherwise unfilled seat?

  16. ericschmidt says:


    How would you get this many people where they want/need to go without a hub and spoke system, for the amounts that you’re willing to pay?

  17. Pryde987 says:

    United and Delta blocking partner airline routes when booking an award ticket when doing a web search is the most absolutely fucking annoying thing within the cannon of frequent flyer programs.

  18. bben says:

    Don’t just blame the airlines, blame the ticket consolidators such as Orbitz and Priceline. The competition for cheap fares is insane. So to compensate for selling seats for less than cost the airlines make it up by cutting amenities, cramming more bodies on each plane and charging fees. The fees can double that cheap fare you got. In the US they don’t have to tell you about any extra fees or taxes when they quote a ticket price. So when you see a bargain price for a ticket, just remember to add on: Airport accommodation fees, fuel surcharge, Federal, State and local tax, Ticketing fee, Baggage fees, the exorbitant cost of a stale sandwich purchased on the plane and any other absurd fees they can invent. I expect to see a fee to use the moving sidewalks and the jetway in the airport any day now.

  19. Dallas_shopper says:

    I haven’t flown in several years. I don’t miss it. Thankfully my family lives locally and I am never asked to travel for my job. I’m really fortunate in that respect.

  20. FatLynn says:

    Wait, wait, the standby thing is if YOU choose to go standby. If you are standby on a flight because your initial flight was canceled or you missed a connection because your first segment arrived late, you aren’t charged for that.

  21. FatLynn says:

    Wait, wait, the standby thing is if YOU choose to go standby. If you are standby on a flight because your initial flight was canceled or you missed a connection because your first segment arrived late, you aren’t charged for that. I am still outraged at the new policy, but let’s be clear on what it is.

  22. sixseeds says:

    The hub system is one of the many reasons I hate flying out of O’Hare.

    Given the way people abuse the carry-on system, I’d pay to be guaranteed an overhead bin spot near my seat. (Enforcement of current carry-on rules would be ideal, but when passengers are so accustomed to abusing the system that they feel comfortable crabbing about my luggage being too SMALL to go in the bin…the wallet hit might be the only way to go.)

  23. banmojo says:

    Airlines have turned to crap, and it’s a damn shame because it doesn’t have to be run this way. They SHOULD focus on customer satisfaction, knowing that the profit will follow. They have it ass backwards, and will continue to get away with it, because, well, sometimes we NEED to fly. It sucks, I wish I could just take a car/boat everywhere.