WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Have you noticed how many things you do or buy sometimes have additional fees? I am not sure where this all started, but banks and airlines have been tacking on fees for a variety things.
Here is a recent conversation I over heard when someone was booking a flight on a cut rate airline, I believe it was called El Cheapo Airline and Storm Door Company. The man wanted to book a flight to Orlando, Florida. The first thing the booking agent asked was did he want to fly economy or their famous El Cheapo rate. So the man asked which was cheapest. She replied well that depends on what amenities you want. But economy is usually the least expensive. Then the man added I have some frequent flyer miles I would like to use. He then asked about round trip and one way fares. She said round trip fares are only available with our super duper saver deluxe package. He replies, all right what is that? For $49.99 you get a bag of peanuts, beautiful plastic souvenir air line bag, and a pillow plus $10.00 extra for a clean pillow case. She then asks if he would like a preferred seat location. He says no I donít think so. She replies, you might want to think about it, there are some pretty unsavory characters who fly the economy plan. OK how much extra will that be? She replied $24.95. She then asks if he would like a preferred boarding pass? He said what is that? She said you will be expedited through security for just $75.00. Well OK I guess that might be worth it. Of course there will be a $25.00 fee for a carry on bag, and $50.00 for each additional bag. She then asks if he will be golfing while on his stay? No he said, but why do you ask? Well there is a $125.00 fee for golf clubs. Of course most of our passengers prefer to take our super hydration fee for the trip, it includes the best in local tap water for $9.95 plus $5.00 for a glass and ice. To which he replied no thanks I will just bring my own water. She replied airport security will only allow 3 ounce bottles to be brought on the airplane so I would recommend using it sparingly. Plus there is a $20.00 fee for bringing on your own water. Oh alright I will take the hydration package. She then asked if he would like to have flight insurance for $79.95? If you crash on the third Tuesday of the month you will receive double miles. Which brings me to your frequent flyer miles, when do you plan on leaving? He replied Thursday April 10. She said oh I am sorry that date is blocked for economy rates. Would you like to change to our El Cheapo Super Saver rate? No I donít know if I have enough time, so how much is all this going to cost me? The grand total comes to $2,299.99 to which the man replied, I think I will just drive there.
Well it seems there are getting to be an a lot of fees that business and government are adding to many products and services.
Of course auto makers have been doing it for years with the many options and option packages that are available with just about any vehicle you buy. Although I must say that many of yesterdays options have become standard, like radios were optional at one time, automatic transmissions were once optional, but are standard on most cars. Of course with all of the features that are standard there comes a heftier price tag too.
Newspapers have not been totally exempt either. Many newspapers now charge for obituaries, we do not. About the only thing we charge extra for is to have a baby announcement put in, otherwise subscriptions and advertising are the only things we charge for. What other business gives away about 60 to 70 percent of its product for free, not many Iíll bet!
Have a great week and do good!
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