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Friday, November 16, 2012

Ask me how I feel about ancillary fees

I'm really beginning to hate the term "ancillary".  It is an innocuous word really.  It means extra or supplementary. 

As most of you know, it has been at the center of the war between the GDS and the airlines, with the airlines complaining about the GDS not being able to adequately "merchandise" their ancillary products and services. 

Thesaurus.com




I find it interesting that the antonyms for ancillary are "necessary and needed". 

I am flying from Tampa to Miami today.  I found an amazing fare on Spirit (albeit to FLL), so it made more sense to fly than drive the 279 miles.  Gas would have cost $65.  Ticket price $68.79. 

Save 4.5 hour drive each way and fly?  No brainer.  Right?  Wrong.

Staying 2 nights, so taking my normal carry on and my backpack for my computer.  Yes, I can put my purse in my suitcase when the TSA person gives me the evil eye.  Done and done.

Arrive at airport.  Check in at kiosk to get boarding pass.  Wait a minute. 

1.  Sign on top says that if you take your bag to the airplane and check at the gate, they will charge you $100. 
2.  I can pay $50 for priority boarding and that gets me one carry on.
3.  Or I can pay $45 and check the bag.  

What I can't do is carry on my carry on. 

So you can travel for $68.79, but you can't carry on a bag.  So, unless I want to buy everything I need at the other end, the ticket price is really now $103.79.  If the antonym of ancillary is necessary and needed, they must not believe that my carry on is something that I need.



Never mind that Spirit doesn't fly to Miami (my ultimate destination).  It was worth it to get the low price, even if I did have to rent a car.  $41.99 for a day for AVIS - oh wait, plus $14.95 taxes and fees.  I couldn't do the cheaper car companies, because I have to have a one way rental, since my husband is meeting me in Miami for our anniversary (and we're driving back together on Sunday).

My trip is now $160.63, not counting Avis refueling fee.
@copyright Charles Schultz

So how do I feel?   A little like Charlie Brown in the classic Schutz cartoon. 

And I know better.  That is what adds insult to injury. 

Imagine how the average traveler feels?

AARRGH!!  That just about sums it up.


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