Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A not-so-wonderful airline credit card offer

Chris Brogan has written an Open Letter to the Hotel Industry in which he observed, in part:

Hotels: stop charging me stupid prices for water. Stop it. We all know it’s silly. Just don’t do it. HIDE THE CHARGE SOMEWHERE ELSE.

I replied:

Business hotels serve customers who often fly to the business hotels via airplane. If an airline will charge you for a soft drink, a snack, and the privilege of carrying your bag on to the airplane, then a hotel is naturally going to follow suit.

Not too long after reading Brogan's post, I picked up my snail mail and received THIS INCREDIBLE OFFER from a major airline, based in the southeastern United States, whose name rhymes with "smelta":

[Airline] and American Express invite you to experience the Gold [airline] Credit Card and our new benefit - first checked bag free for up to nine people in your reservation, every [airline] flight.

So, if I'm following this right, the airline is offering me the privilege of checking a bag for free. All I have to do is sign up for the credit card, pay the annual fee, pay the interest rate, etcetera.

Unfortunately for the airline, I can still remember the good old days in which all airlines, including "smelta," allowed you to check a bag for free WITHOUT HAVING TO SIGN UP FOR A CREDIT CARD. (Airfarewatchdog tracks bag fees, including those airlines who still don't charge any.)

I wonder if I can use the credit card to pay for the pay toilets that airlines might install in the future. (Yes, airline pay toilets were considered at one point.)

Sorry, this "wonderful offer" leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And don't forget what Jason Kottke previously shared (H/T me):

The airlines that added the most fees (for food, to check bags) in the past few months saw their revenues decline the most.
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