2.09.2008

With one free bag, the Friendly Skies got a little less friendly

Air travel is enough of a nuisance these days. Why do airlines have to keep finding ways to make things worse?

Take United Airlines, which is my default carrier because it has so many non-stops out of SFO. Here's a notice they just sent me, rescinding the long-standing rule that travelers can check two bags for free:

As of February 4, 2008, United has a new checked baggage policy. Non-elite Mileage Plus® members and non-members traveling on non-refundable Economy tickets within the United States, Canada and U.S. territories, may check one bag for free and a second for a $25 fee. The new policy applies to tickets purchased beginning February 4, 2008 for travel on or after May 5, 2008.

Thank you for choosing United.

From snack boxes — inedible junk for $5 — to this. How long, do we think, before the "free" non-alcoholic beverages cost $5 as well?

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Co-founder and editorial director of BZ Media, which publishes SD Times, the leading magazine for the software development industry. Founder of SPTechCon: The SharePoint Technology Conference, AnDevCon: The Android Developer Conference, and Big Data TechCon. Also president and principal analyst of Camden Associates, an IT consulting and analyst firm.