Airline crappery

Having had the privilege of logging quite a few airline miles on rarely the same airline in the last year, I’ve seen the extremely wide range of customer service offerings from both U.S. and foreign carriers. I’ve flown domestic carriers that offered nothing more than a 6oz soft drink on a 5 hour flight, to Malaysia Airlines, where the flight attendants hand carried trays of [complementary] beer around minutes after takeoff, and had real meals on shorter flights. With real silverware. And free wine. In coach.

If you’ve been following my Twitter feed, you’ll have seen me point out some failings of the U.S. carriers as of late. From American’s decision to start charging for your first checked bag to USAir’s announcement today that they will no longer be providing free snacks on domestic flights.

Seriously? The eight micro-pretzels they’re no longer going to give out complimentarily is going to make a difference to their stockholders or their bottom line? The state of airline travel has really gotten that bad that 15 peanuts is breaking the bank? Come on, USAir. Give me a break. This goes beyond being beyond cheapskates to just being poor customer service.

Air travel is not one of my favorite things, but I’m also one of the last people to complain about the normal inconveniences of it, like delays, security checkpoints, and bad food. But lately, there are less flights, more overcrowding, more stupid rules, less benefits, and worse customer service. Chew on that next time you shell out $600 for a cross country flight, because they won’t be providing anything else for you to masticate on.

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