Budget-conscious flyers have snapped up seats on Skybus Airlines from Columbus, Ohio, to 11 cities, with $10 tickets selling out on each new route hours after they go on sale. The Los Angeles Times tests the Skybus experience, where everything costs extra, from pillows to pretzels. The plane, a new Airbus A319, gets high marks, but cost-cutting applies to leg room, too, with 2 inches less per seat than on other airlines.
And added charges mount quickly; the Times reporter scored a $10 seat, but ended up spending $112 for extras plus a return ticket. A lunch sets passengers back $10, a soda another $2, and each checked bag $5. Flight attendants are paid lower wages, and get commissions on what they sell onboard. Soon they'll be wearing ads on their uniforms—and so will the planes.