Dec 22, 2009

Charging for Airline Luggage-Could it be more Eco-friendly?

The great Southwest Air commercials about the fact they do not charge for luggage and many other traditional carriers do came to light for me recently when booking a flight on Delta/NW which charges $20 for the first checked bag.

From a customer service point of view it seems total lunacy to charge for luggage. Just a way to stick it in the customer's face right before they make their flight. Of course the recent overfly of their destination of two NW pilots was in my mind while making the reservation any way.

I will of course write the CEO of Delta a note and let him know how I feel. It may or may not make a difference but I feel the flight should include everything from start to finish.

But being a tree hugger I began to think of this conundrum in terms of the cost of the flight and personal accountability.

Like it or not, it costs the airline more to fly my bag since weight is a large part of the cost of flight from a fuel consumption standpoint.

I remember being in Costa Rica and the airline made us get on a scale with our luggage pre flight to gather the total weight of all passengers to assure the small plane could get off the ground. So the weight calculation can be viewed for safety as well.

That extra bag is adding to the total CO2 production of the flight.
A recent incident with JAL(who maybe does not charge for luggage) I believe involved a gent that checked 20 odd pieces of luggage for his flight. What did that cost in terms of fuel and CO2?

I believe some airlines are looking at charging customers by their body weight class. So a lady who weighs 200 lbs will pay more than a lady of reasonable body weight of say 130 to 150 lbs.
I flew once recently and sat near a lady that needed 2 seats to fit her body into although she made it clear she paid for both seats.

The point is that in the first world we all lead our lives often looking only at the finished product and not at the toil, sweat, and most importantly affect on the Earth that the raw ingredients and labor cost to make that product. In this case the luggage is an ingredient in the finished product of getting me from point A to point B.

I guess I could fly without luggage and buy everything on the other side and donate it before returning home. This would help the local thrift donation stores a lot.

Or maybe the airline should cut out all the tv's and electronics(those devices must add serious weight to the plane) they provide to prevent us from boredom and instead make us read or sleep-something we ALL need more of.

Then my luggage could ride for free---yeah!!!
Delta and NW-hope you get to read this

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