What is it about air travel that makes us lose our minds?
Cruise lines are charting a course similar to airlines, which charge a low base fare and then add optional extras to the price of the ticket, routinely doubling the cost of transportation.
It's been more than two years since most major airlines "unbundled" their fares and began charging passengers for the first checked bag. And although air travelers are now paying more for their luggage than ever -- $2.7 billion last year, compared with just $1.1 billion in 2008 -- they are deeply unhappy about it, according to a new poll.
This chart, which comes to us courtesy of the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, is quite revealing. And at the same time, misleading.
Apart from a few soundbites, the airline position on fees hasn't been fully articulated. So I asked an airline to do just that.
Here's a fascinating graphic from our friend Bob Herbst, who shares a few numbers about airline ticket prices that might make you wish for the good ol' pre-deregulation days, when airlines competed on service, not price.
Yes. Sure, Southwest's decision to begin charging for early boarding is taking it on a slippery slope toward a la carte fees, but what a ride it is, according to passengers like Jennifer Rigdon.