An Arrogant Proposal

Bangkok, Thailand

May 15, 2007

Dear Business Editor,

As an owner of equities of several international airlines companies, I read with glee your recent reports describing the airlines' new policy for raising revenue.

Isn't it obvious that the fuel surcharge be raised? And ticket prices too. Business is business. To hell with those "supposed" low cost carriers. Eventually most of them drop out anyway.

I agree, if a passenger wants to eat, then let her pay for her food. The ticket is for a seat, and only a seat. Of course some seats are more desirable than others and our astute airlines executives clearly understand their company's assets. If you are short, then you are lucky. Tall, and if you want an Exit seat, then a little extra fee should be OK. Think of all the advantages of being tall.

If you want to see the GW Bridge and the Empire State Building from a window seat, then surely a small admission charge is not too much to ask. And maybe even a bit more for a night flight? For all those bridges in the Big Apple? If it's foggy we could give a Rain Check.

I am really impressed with our leaders' more creative ideas. For example, charging for a blanket and a pillow. Brilliant. These items need to be purchased; and even cleaned, from time to time.

I have a few modest proposals of my own. Senior Citizen Discount? Not! Most Seniors I know are awash in cash. Let them pay more. And what about those wheelchairs? Those stainless steel buggies cost plenty and so do the unionized porters. Sorry mama and papa, pay for the ride.

What about all those fat people. Surely more of my fuel is burned to lift off a fat person. Tough luck. Eat fewer Big Macs and pay less. Fries with that? Surcharge! Install a weigh station at the gate.

Something must be done about those bothersome children. Can you imagine those little kids traveling free and annoying the hell out of everyone in the neighborhood? Has anyone calculated the extra boarding time? Surely that is costing me money. I propose an annoyance tax for those parents. Or leave the kids home with grandma and let everyone enjoy the ride.

How obnoxious, all those hot shots with their lap tops! What a pain. Want to log on? Put a buck in the envelope provided. No one uses those sick bags anyway.

Now listen, there are plenty of bathrooms in the airport. So, if you want to freshen up during the flight, pay a little extra. Remember those public restrooms with the quarter slot? I say, install those slots now and really generate some dough. And how about some quarter slots for the overhead bins? Those bags are usually heavy and also burn more fuel.

And speaking of the airport, my airlines promise a seat on the airplane, not the waiting area. OK. OK. I am not a hard-hearted businessman. Leave those hard plastic seats alone. But, let's rope off a VIP area at each gate. If you want a comfortable chair, pay for the privilege.

And luggage. Never mind free. Each bag should be weighed and taxed. You say you are an experienced traveler and know how to travel light? Well then you should be rewarded. You carrying twelve pairs of shoes for a three day weekend? Sorry, lady. Cough up.

Unfortunately all of the above will not apply to me. I am one of those filthy rich sexy senior citizens. I always travel First Class or Business Class. As it is I pay much too much for my leather reclining seat, my adult beverage before takeoff, my hot towel, and gourmet dinner with a chilled dessert display and cognac.

Let the hoi polloi in the back of the bus ante up their fair share for a change.

New airline fees? I vote Yes!

See you at the shareholder meeting.

Jan Polatschek

I predicted this:

Location field map: 
Latitude: 13.764221
Longitude: 100.513523

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