Monday, April 03, 2006

And how about that airline food...?

Uh oh.

Look out, comics. A whole new world of airline jokes just opened up for us! Time to dust off those rusty ol' airplane bits and begin a whole new golden age of hackery!

Airlines to Begin Charging for Amenities

By LESLIE MILLER, Associated Press Writer

Ask for a pillow and blanket to help get through a long flight and you may be out of luck. Or you may be able to buy a "comfort package" from Air Canada for $2. Like to check your luggage curbside? That could cost up to $3 a bag.

Airlines are starting to charge for many services that once were free — such as assigned seating, paper tickets and blankets. Air travelers who don't fly often may be in for some unpleasant surprises when they reach the airport this summer.

"They're going to be confused and they're going to be somewhat upset," said Kevin Mitchell, president of the Business Travelers Coalition. "Is it going to stop them from flying? No."

Intense competition from low-fare airlines along with high jet-fuel prices have led many established carriers to cut back or charge passengers for amenities.

Many airlines no longer serve meals on flights, instead charging for snack boxes and sandwiches.

Sharon Ansara, a government supervisor from El Paso, Texas, flew an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Washington Monday morning.

"We didn't even get peanuts," she said after the 2-1/2 hour flight. "They offered us a snack pack for $4. It stinks."

American spokesman Tim Wagner said that passengers have made it clear that their first priority in buying an airline ticket is price. The company offers a la carte services — such as snack packs — for those willing to pay for them.

What's next? "Thanks for paying $439 for this one-way ticket between New Jersey and Ohio. Oh, you want to sit down during the flight? In a seat? That'll be $27. Per minute."

"Hey, folks! I just flew in from Miami and boy is my wallet empty!"


Thus concludes our test of the hack comedy broadcast. Had this been real hack stand-up comedy, the above material would have been immediately followed by a roaringly hilarious rant on why men leave the toilet seat up. And then a Jack Nicholson impersonation.