Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Why the airlines are not making friends

Well, today I flew US Airways for the first time in a long time. I have gotten used to the fact that the airlines will starve me, regardless of the duration of the flight. Last summer, I flew from Dallas to Anchorage – seven hours in the air – and didn’t get so much as a little bag of peanuts or pretzels. I have been stung by the new rules on baggage where they charge as much as a suitcase costs to check it in. And today? Today was the final indignity.

“Would you like to purchase a beverage?” she asked cheerily.

Purchase a beverage? No, I wouldn’t like to purchase a beverage. I would like for you to give me a beverage, because a 20-cent can of Diet Coke should be included in the $427 I paid for my flight. You’d think, right? But, no.

It is amazing how the cost of gasoline soared so high and stayed that high until we couldn’t afford to pay for it. Then the price went down. But, did the elevated cost of these airplane tickets go down? No. I thought they started charging more because of the gas crisis. Did they stop charging for checking bags? No. I thought that was related to fuel consumption, too.

Oh, she’s back. “Would you like to purchase a snack box?” she asks.

Now, I think they like this. It’s less work for them, and I don’t blame them for wanting less work because I can’t imagine how awful it would be to have to push one of those drink carts up and down these tight aisles, having to give this lady apple juice, that man a rum and Coke and me a Diet Coke and matrix revolutions the download free a plastic cup of ice water.

But, travel is hard. It just is. Parking at the airport is the first challenge. Some of those check-in lines aren’t pretty. Security is awful. Why do these airlines have to make matters worse, making me fret about whether I stuffed my carry-on bag too full to get it in the overhead bin. It is already enough of a hassle without them making us having to starve and dehydrate.

I think the thing that irks me most is that these decisions are made by people in boardrooms who are flying in first class, where the drinks and snacks are free. It shows such a disdain for the rest of us – those who fly coach. They shrink the aisles, cram the seats as close as possible, then stick it to us for untold hours, blaming the bottom line for the inconvenience. Again, I just looked. I paid $427 for this. They can carry my bags, give me something to drink and maybe even hand out some peanuts.

But, they don’t.

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