Cheap Flights, Passenger Perks Lost in Transit

Soaring fuel prices mean airline fees, shakeups here to stay
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 6:03 AM CDT
Northwest Airlines has become the latest major US carrier to announce extra charges for bags in a revenue-boosting measure.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)
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(Newser) – The days of discounts and perks on major US airlines have disappeared from the horizon, possibly forever, Marketwatch writes. The stratospheric fuel prices that caused three airlines to shut down last week alone are forcing airlines to boost their bottom lines any way they can. Capacity is being cut back and charges for things like second bags are spreading through the industry.

Airline executives speak of "changing expectations" for passengers, meaning fuel surcharges and costs for extras are probably here to stay—along with packed planes. "Flying is going to be like mass transit," said one industry analyst. "Customers want to pay the bare minimum for tickets. Those who want extra services, like baggage and meals, can buy them."