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Old 08-01-2008, 08:19 AM   #1  
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Default No more free water on US Air

The Middle Seat Terminal : Starting Today, No More Free Water on US Air

Starting Today, No More Free Water on US Air

Posted By Nikki Waller On August 1, 2008

Journal reporter Stephanie Chen on changes coming to US Air’s domestic flights today.

Charging for checked luggage and legroom isn’t enough for some carriers — starting today, coach passengers flying aboard US Airways Inc. must pay for a drink of water.

This morning, US Airways began charging fliers $2 for bottled water and sodas and $1 for teas and coffees. First class members, trans-Atlantic passengers and a select group of others are exempt from the extra fees.

“This is another clever way to masquerade airfare increases without increasing airfares,” says Randy Petersen, editor of Inside Flyer Magazine. “Everything has been passed along to the consumer.”

The Tempe, Ariz.-based airline is among many other carriers scrambling to cut costs and boost revenues amid skyrocketing fuel prices. For now, other major airlines including AMR Corp.’s American Airlines, Delta Air Lines Inc., and Northwest Airlines Corp. say they won’t resort to the a la carte beverage system yet but will continue researching all possible ways to save money. Discount carriers AirTran Holdings Inc., JetBlue Airways Corp. and Southwest Airlines Co say they will also continue serving complimentary beverages.

Continental Airlines Inc. — one of the few airlines left that serves free meals on certain domestic flights — says it is unlikely to abandon its free beverage service. Continental says charging for a soda would detract from passenger comfort. “That’s always been our philosophy, and it’s one that works well with us,” says spokeswoman Julie King.

Several other low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines Inc and Allegiant Air, LLC began charging for beverages a few years ago. These low-budget airlines say their business model offers “unbundled” deals, which strip away extra costs and charge only for the flight. Spirit and Allegiant officials say customers like this plan, which allows flyers to add on extra drinks and snacks only if they desire.

US Airways says it will provide water and drinks for passengers in cases of medical emergency and during extensive delays. If a desperately thirsty passenger does forget a few extra dollars, US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant says flight attendants will likely “err on the side of the customer” and give him or her water. After all, the airline wouldn’t want its customers drinking tap water from the aircraft bathroom. That water is safe to drink, just not very palatable, according to Durrant.

“Frankly, that’s just not classy,” he says.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:27 AM   #2  
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You cheap bastards.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:30 AM   #3  
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Let's see - higher fares, TSA B.S., a good chance of being stranded if you miss your connection, and surly airline employees. And now charges for checking bags, food, snacks, and water. This is why I rented a car and drove on my last three business trips instead of flying.

While I understand the challenges the airlines are going through, my time, money, and patience are finite resources and if I can avoid wasting them on an airline flight I will. The passenger experience sucks and I will do what I can to avoid it. And there are probably thousands of others who feel the same way.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:38 AM   #4  
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Kudos to Parker and the crew, I'm sure this will be well received by your passengers that keep you in business, and will make a noticeable difference to your bottom line
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:45 AM   #5  
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Man I wish we served CLT.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:52 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulcher View Post
Man I wish we served CLT.
No offense to the great crews at US Air, but you guys would own it quick.
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:04 AM   #7  
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Any bets on when some airlines will start charging to use the lavs?
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Old 08-01-2008, 09:56 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bravo24 View Post
Let's see - higher fares, TSA B.S., a good chance of being stranded if you miss your connection, and surly airline employees. And now charges for checking bags, food, snacks, and water. This is why I rented a car and drove on my last three business trips instead of flying.
No kidding. I'm pursuing non-flying corporate jobs and if I get the one I really want it involves a lot of travel. After six months or so I will put together a powerpoint cost analysis of how the company would save money if they bought me a little RV-6 or something similar.
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:09 AM   #9  
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"Do you have two quarters for five dollars?!"

YouTube - 1987-Alaska Airlines
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:12 AM   #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mulcher View Post
Man I wish we served CLT.
Man I wish you'd paid the same for fuel as everyone else.
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