Starting Today, No More Free Water on US Air

Aug 1st, 2008, 06:36 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 419
Starting Today, No More Free Water on US Air

The Wall Street Journal reports that
Charging for checked luggage and legroom isnít enough for some carriers ó starting today, coach passengers flying aboard US Airways Inc. must pay for a drink of water.

This morning, US Airways began charging fliers $2 for bottled water and sodas and $1 for teas and coffees. First class members, trans-Atlantic passengers and a select group of others are exempt from the extra fees.
joethekay is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 06:44 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
Coin operated WCs are next!
dfr4848 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 07:10 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 419
In context with the WC charge, Coin operated TP dispenser is next.
joethekay is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 10:02 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,945
I thought you had to be well hydrated on flights for your health. Obviously AA doesn't care about the well-being of coach passengers. The cost of water at any airport is ridiculous compared to a store so you're stuck between a rock and a hard place by not being allowed to bring more than 3 fl oz airside.
joto is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 10:14 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,945
Sorry, AA. I meant US Airways.
joto is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 12:11 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 127
It starting to be just like riding
a bus.
just take an empty bottle through securty and fill it before you board
halbo49 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2008, 02:39 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,618
I'll just keep flying Southwest where water is free, soda is free, checking two bags is free, change fees are free, exit rows are free...
Andrew is online now  
Aug 1st, 2008, 05:21 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,291
Personally, I think U.S. Air and American Airlines are killing themselves with these new charges (water and checking first bag). These two airlines are ones to avoid for future flights.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 01:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,107
Personally, I think U.S. Air and American Airlines are killing themselves with these new charges (water and checking first bag). These two airlines are ones to avoid for future flights.

I think all of the empirical evidence suggests you are absolutely wrong. European air travel has increased dramatically, especially since these sorts of restrictions became common. And the most recent quarterly results in the US shocked Wall Street with the revenues generated by these fees. And there is plenty of empirical and theoretical work in economic psychology that shows you can fool almost all of the people all of the time. These charges are here to stay, and those airlines that are most aggressive with them will be the most successful airlines in the coach class market.

People claim that they don't like them and will switch carriers. Frankly, I think they are deluding themselves. They will still buy the cheaper ticket. They will tell themselves all sorts of lies about how it won't affect them. They will say, "I'll pack lighter this time," and not be able to do it. They will tell themselves, "I'll buy water in the airport," and then run late. But, at the end of the day, not enough people pay a premium for coach tickets to make it worth incurring any sort of premium costs.
travelgourmet is online now  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 03:55 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 5,950
Wally, I thought you only drank wine.
Carrybean is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 05:08 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 5,215
Reading the "fine print" it says "bottled water" does it not? What if I ask for a glass/cup of water with ice?

regards - tom
cary999 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 05:18 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 489
Andrew

I'll just keep flying Southwest where water is free, soda is free, checking two bags is free, change fees are free, exit rows are free

That's fine for domestic, especially west coat flihts.
What ae you going to do internationally (or where SW does not fly)? I do like SW, but we cannot use them all the time....
Paulchili is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 06:21 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,618
I don't fly overseas every year so it's not usually an issue for me. But at this point I guess I'll put US Air at the bottom of my list for international flights and fly Southwest domestically. And that's not just because of free water/soda: I simply think Southwest is a better airline than the majors, for some of the reasons I state above. I've flown Southwest cross country as well and they generally do fly where I need to fly, not just on the west coast.
Andrew is online now  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 08:56 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,271
Here is my only problems with US Air's action....

You can't bring water through security so either you have to overpay for it at one of the franchise places in the terminal after security or on the plane.

On a bus, I can put a bottle of water or soda pop in my bag and drink it when necessary.

When I go to the theatre say in London, before the show I pick up a bottle of soda, potato chips and water if necessary before the show and am allowed to bring it into the theatre (despite the fact they gouge others with absurd high prices at half time).

I can't do so on a plane.
xyz123 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:02 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,291
I've been checking flights for a January 4 or 5 LAX to Florida flight (PBI or Ft. Lauderdale) and American Airlines is twice as much as the competition.

BTW, most of these budget European airlines have flights of two hours or less. Can you imagine flying U.S. Air or American to Hawaii--8 hours or longer?

Go Hawaian Airlines.
wally34949 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:16 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,107
BTW, most of these budget European airlines have flights of two hours or less.

But pay-for beverages are not restricted to budget airlines or by length. Fly SAS or Spanair from Stockholm to Southern Spain and you are looking at 4-1/2 hours on a plane without free water.

It stinks, no doubt about that, but it is not at all clear that it is a losing business strategy.

What ae you going to do internationally (or where SW does not fly)?

Int'l long-haul routes are not subject to this change, nor to the new bag fees. They may be eventually, but not yet.

I guess I'll put US Air at the bottom of my list for international flights

I would hope they were at the bottom of the list long before these changes. Maybe Aer Lingus or TAP is worse, but that is about it for long-haul flights.
travelgourmet is online now  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 11:11 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 91,111
Well then, in some situations they have a captive audience.

For example, US Air returning Puerto Vallarta Mexico to the United States, you aren't allowed to bring your own water on the plane, regardless if you bought it after security or filled an empty water bottle from the tap. You can't bring your own drinks onto the plane. Period.
suze is online now  
Aug 4th, 2008, 03:19 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,067
We had exactly the same experiences suze returning on flights from Guanajuato, MX and again from Managua, Nicaragua. Bought water after security and had it taken at the gate in a security search targeted just at US bound flights from what I could tell. Nice to think you won't be able to get water on the plane either without a shakedown.
Clifton is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 06:30 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,485
<<I think all of the empirical evidence suggests you are absolutely wrong. European air travel has increased dramatically, especially since these sorts of restrictions became common.>>

You're not comparing apples with apples. The vast majority of full service airlines e.g Air France, KLM, BA, Lufthansa, etc, etc do not charge for drinks or food on their intra Europe flights. Despite this, they are still capable of making substantial profits, even in todays market

You've managed to find 2 small full service airlines in SAS and Spanair that supports your assertion, hardly empirical evidence.

Now if you are talking about the budget airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet, then these are a completely different story.

When you are getting flights for free + taxes or a few pound then customers can hardly expect free food or drinks. I do not see these kind of prices being offered in the US, even companies such as JetBlue or Southwest are nowhere near these price levels

Instead I see large, poorly run, so called "full service" dinosaurs who are charging hundreds of dollars for flights and providing zilch in terms of service and amenities.

Geordie

Geordie is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 09:44 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,107
The vast majority of full service airlines e.g Air France, KLM, BA, Lufthansa, etc, etc do not charge for drinks or food on their intra Europe flights. Despite this, they are still capable of making substantial profits, even in todays market

But that doesn't matter. The point is that, despite other carriers offering free water, both SAS and Spanair don't. And there is no obvious deleterious effect from it. Others claimed that it is a bad business strategy, but there is no proof that it is. Now, if SAS had gone out of business, or reversed course, then that would constitute proof. But that they continue to operate and seem to be relatively successful, then what evidence is there that it is bad business?

And, the majority of the full-service airlines have substantially cut back on their intra-European operations. Look at the BA route network some time. It is a shell of its former self. Or, compare the proportion of long-haul aircraft to that held by most of the US carriers. Within Europe, the full-service carriers have gotten their hats handed to them by Ryanair and the like.

The European carriers are profitable because they focused on the long-haul market sooner than the US carriers, not because they offer free drinks in coach. And the salad days are coming to an end, anyway. Every single one of the European carriers has warned about profits. BA has called this the "worst trading environment ever." AF has made similar statements. I would expect even further decreases in service levels in Europe, as well as substantially curtailed schedules and route maps.
travelgourmet is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:55 PM.