Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
People are getting quite sick of airlines imposing yet more nasty fees on every aspect of a purchase.
I know this because I wrote an article about airlines' latest imposition of a nasty fee on an aspect of a purchase -- they're now charging you to sit next to members of your family. And people weren't happy at all.
Sample Twitter comment: "The airlines are sickening!!"
But you know they're not going to stop.
Even as you read this, there are teams of highly-paid airline executives and even more highly-paid consultants trying to find new ways of pinching at least another few bucks from your pocket.
So, given my role as a public service, I thought I'd offer a few suggestions for what those new charges might be.
By the way, my airline executive friends, if you use any of these I'll charge you.
1. The Check-In Too Early Fee.
Yes, you've heard about the long lines going through TSA security. So you've turned up three hours before your flight. Cha-ching, that's caused our employees to be alert for more hours, so you pay. What shall we say? $25?
2. The Recline Your Seat Back Fee.
There's been a lot of angst around people reclining their seats back and annoying the people behind. This is understandable as seats in coach are now only a few inches away from each other. Some customers have even resorted to a device called a Knee Defender. Isn't it good business, then, to charge customers for the privilege of annoying others? $30 should do it, shouldn't it?
3. The Membership of A Rival Airline's Frequent Flyer Program Fee.
Airlines like to offer benefits to those who fly regularly with them. They show them a map with a (relatively) honest view of all the seats that are available. So why not demand that customers don't play around? If you're a member of another airline's frequent flyer program, we will penalize you. Yes, even if the other airline doesn't fly to your destination. That should teach you. Let's call that $40, OK?
4. The You Didn't Buy Our Flight Insurance Fee.
You'll notice how airlines try to get you to insure your flights. You know, just in case you fall ill. Or just in case the airline cancels your flight. It's clearly annoying to the airline if you don't buy that fine insurance. It makes money from that fine insurance. Shouldn't it also, therefore, make some money out of you not buying that fine insurance? $35 sounds like a just fee.
5. The You Didn't Sign Up For Our Airline Credit Card Fee.
Look, airlines just want to get closer and closer to you. They're no different from Google and Facebook. They want you to participate in every aspect of their superb offerings. They're tired of sending you email after email, begging you to sign up for an airline credit card. They've tried to explain to you over and over again all the benefits the airline will get if you sign up. I'm sorry, I meant all the benefits you will get. Your insolent refusal should surely incur an additional charge every time you book a flight with that airline. We'll be generous here. A $20 surcharge.