Tampe AZ - US Air: No More Free Anything, Water, Soda Pay For It
Tampe AZ - Charging for checked luggage and legroom isnâ€™t enough for some carriers â€” 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.
â€śThis is another clever way to masquerade airfare increases without increasing airfares,â€ť says Randy Petersen, editor of Inside Flyer Magazine. â€śEverything has been passed along to the consumer.â€ť
Continental Airlines Inc. â€” one of the few airlines left that serves free meals on certain domestic flights â€” says it is unlikely to abandon its free beverage service. Continental says charging for a soda would detract from passenger comfort. â€śThatâ€™s always been our philosophy, and itâ€™s one that works well with us,â€ť says spokeswoman Julie King.
US Airways says it will provide water and drinks for passengers in cases of medical emergency and during extensive delays. If a desperately thirsty passenger does forget a few extra dollars, US Airways spokesman Morgan Durrant says flight attendants will likely â€śerr on the side of the customerâ€ť and give him or her water. After all, the airline wouldnâ€™t want its customers drinking tap water from the aircraft bathroom. That water is safe to drink, just not very palatable, according to Durrant.
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