By Martha Stewardess
Enough with the discussion and complaints about airline fee’s. They’re here to stay. Let’s accept being “unbundled” and move forward.
The *new* Airline Ticket – airline & flight attendant revenue
I want to start issuing citations to passengers. We’ll call these citations “Airline Tickets” since airline bookings are now “ticketless”. This new form of “airline ticketing” has great potential, adding millions of dollars in revenues to all airlines, with the exception of Southwest. Southwest didn’t jump on the ‘fee’ bandwagon, so I doubt they’ll be interested in this ‘airline ticket’ gravy train idea.
Revenues are generated from fines paid for citations issued to passengers for basic on-board infractions. As a bonus, flight attendant staff would receive a commission for every airline ‘ticket’ issued. This would be a windfall, since many of us are working at 1996 wages after suffering cuts in pay, benefits, and even loss of some pensions (UAL) while we struggled to save our employers from bankruptcy or going belly up.
As another added bonus, the general flying public would see improvements with a policed and more civilized atmosphere of mutual consideration and respect.
With few exceptions, passengers know the rules of the road, but until now have little incentive to follow them. Some of these ‘rules’ are not ‘official’ rules at all. Many travel offenses would fall into the categories of ‘common sense’ or ‘etiquette’ violations, two categories quite foreign with a good number of travelers.
Below I have listed the actions (or violations), and proposed fines levied against the offenders.
As flight attendants, we already have hand-held computer devices used to collect additional revenues (fees) from passengers for miscellaneous “unbundled” extras including food, alcohol, and a few inches of legroom. These same handheld units would be programmed to print airline ‘tickets’ to misbehaving passengers. Using debit or credit cards, ticketed passengers would conveniently pay at the time of issue, or the violation infraction would be permanently added to their PNR (passenger name record) in each airlines database.
If too many violations go unpaid for a period of time, offenders will get the boot! Maybe not the “Denver Boot,” but they could get booted by a Denver gate agent as they queued up for boarding their next flight. If not Denver, it could happen anywhere (when least expected and without warning) in any one of thousands of city airports worldwide.
The threat of a public ass-kicking is an excellent motivator for naughty passengers, and a good morale booster for airline employees too, especially for frustrated gate agents. Imagine their delight when given the green light to walk up behind a passenger standing in line and give them a swift kick in the pants!
Martha’s Inflight ‘Airline Ticket’ Menu (and pricing)
- Failure to say hello and/or ignoring the flight attendant when entering the aircraft – $20
- Stowing a bag in the overhead compartment of row 6 when you are seated in row 36 – $40
- Handing the flight attendant your soggy fast food trash and Big Gulp type cups for disposal as you enter the aircraft, instead of disposing of them inside the terminal – $50
- You stand with feet planted firmly in the aisle, oblivious to the long line of ALL other boarding passengers patiently waiting behind you while you fiddle around reorganizing the side pocket of your laptop case, or whatever it is you’re doing – $100
- Improper carry-on stowage, i.e. leaving bag extended out of overhead compartment preventing bin closure – $100
- Failure to listen and absorb the important announcements, like what food items are available for purchase on any given flight – $25
- And then NOT having your debit or credit card within reach at time of transaction – $25
- Requesting more than one beverage at a time – $15
- Littering – $35
- Overuse of the flight attendant call button – one free ding, $10 for each add’l
- Failure to fasten seatbelt – $100
- Rude behavior – $50
- Flatulence – $10 (sound only), $500 (if SBD)
- Getting up when the seat belt sign is on – $200
- Failure to properly (& sanitarily) dispose of used hand towels before exiting the lavatory – $50
- Failure to wear shoes when using the lavatory – $50 (bare feet), $100 (if wearing soggy socks)
Let’s put the unbundled airline ‘fee’s behind us. They are what they are, and unfortunately here to stay.
Cha-ching! Yet another opportunity for airlines to collect revenues for what should already be expected, right?