“No Frills Airlines"
A comedic look at today's ever-rising airline fees
Airline Counter in busy metropolitan airport. Customer at counter preparing to purchase a ticket.
Airline Counter Person: (Female, late 20s) Good afternoon and welcome to No Frills Airlines how may I help you today?
Customer: (Male, mid-to-late 40s, dressed in a business suit) I’d like to purchase a round-trip ticket New York to Boston.?
Airline Counter Person: (looking down at computer screen) Ok, let me see.
Airline Counter Person: (enthusiastically) Yes, I do have a flight that leaves in two hours, would you like me to book that?
Customer: (resoundingly pleased) Yes, please do.
Airline Counter Person: (very businesslike) First, I must ask you a few questions.
Airline Counter Person: Would you like to sit near the emergency exit?
Customer: That’s just fine, is there an extra fee?
Airline Counter Person: Yes, if you are 5-10 seats nearest the emergency exit that will be an extra $25.00. An emergency exit seat is $150.00.
Customer: (hesitant) Well, I guess where I sit is not that important.
Airline Counter Person: (again very businesslike) Do you have any baggage you would like to check?
Customer: Uh, why yes one bag.
Airline Counter Person: Please let me review our baggage policy. We do not charge an initial baggage-handling fee. Instead, we will take a credit card and if at the end of your trip you have Minimal Damage to your luggage there will be a charge of only $15, If the bag is scuffed or stained we will only charge you a nominal $10 fee, If your baggage is missing wheels or handles a fee of $5 and if we lose your luggage we will charge to your credit card a Lost Luggage finder’s fee of $75.
Customer: (slightly miffed) Why that doesn’t seem fair.
Airline Counter Person: (unassuming) Sorry, it is the policy of our airline to incur such charges. But, as an added service we do provide you with free unlimited soft drinks, water, or fruit juice. Although, we do charge $2.50 for an empty cup and a seventy-five cents ice fee.
Customer: (subdued) Well it is a short flight; I really don’t think I will have any beverage other than coffee.
Airline Counter Person: (cheerful) Well you are in luck, today we are giving coffee in a cup for free.
Customer: That sounds great.
Airline Counter Person: And only charging $1.25 for sweetener, $1.25 for creamer, and $.75 for the stirrer.
Customer: (somewhat annoyed) Why that comes to $3.25 for a cup of coffee. Guess I’ll have my coffee before I board.
Airline Counter Person: Well, then I imagine you will be using the aircraft’s lavatory? We do charge a nominal per person lavatory use fee of $5.00. (pausing) I must also add that as a non-first-class passenger if you use the first-class lavatory there is a $500.00 fine.
Customer: (slightly angry) Are you kidding me?
Airline Counter Person: (ignoring) Will you be traveling with any infants or children under 3? Because we do charge a $75.00 crying baby fee?
Customer: (abruptly) No!
Airline Counter Person: Do you have any carry-on luggage?
Customer: Why yes, my travel bag (lifting his bag onto the counter).
Airline Counter Person: (takes out a tape measure and carefully measures the bag) This can only be stowed in the overhead bin at a charge of $15 a cubic foot, (hesitant and calculating) that will be an extra $60.00.
Customer: What? How can you charge that much?
Airline Counter Person: (slightly annoyed, but stern) Sir, it is the airline’s policy not mine. Do you wish me to issue you a ticket?
Customer: (disgusted) Well, I have no choice, I have a meeting late this afternoon.
Airline Counter Person: (calculating) let’s see that will be $967.25.
Customer: (quizzed look) Are you sure that is correct?
Airline Counter Person: Yes, the cost of the flight, incidentals, and special fees.
Customer: (confused) Incidentals and special fees?
Airline Counter Person: Yes, Special fees include a $5.00 Electrical Energy Surcharge for the use of the overhead Reading Lamp, as well as, Safe Landing Fees including a $75.00 Pilot fee, a $50.00 Co-pilot fee and a Baggage Handler fee of $50.00.
Customer: (sarcastic tone) And do you also charge for the guy who stands at the cabin exit door and does absolutely nothing?
Airline Counter Person: (ignoring his sarcastic tone) Oh, if you use the Overhead Call Light to page a steward or stewardess there is an Inconvenience Fee of $15.00 per call, as well as special emergency fees.
Customer: (somewhat chagrined) Special Emergency Fees?
Airline Counter Person: (coolly) In the event of an emergency, there are special emergency fees, which include Use of the Emergency Exit fee, which is $5 in the event of an unscheduled emergency evacuation. As well as a Flotation Device Surcharge of $15. In any case, emergency or not, we will refund you the $15 Flotation Device Surcharge, if you return your flotation seat cushion in its original condition accompanied by your original receipt.
Customer: (speechless with a disgusted look)
Airline Counter Person: Oh, I almost forgot, do you need change? Our Emergency Oxygen is coin-operated and will only accept quarters.
Customer: (disgusted and reaching for his wallet) Geez!
Airline Counter Person: (surprised) This must be your lucky day, the airline has wavered the Arrive on Time $25.00 passenger penalty, as well as the $5.00 Overhead Air Circulation fee. That is a saving of $30.
Airline Counter Person: (handing the customer his boarding pass) Oh, yes, please remember at the end of your flight when exiting the cabin, do not forget to be generous to our flight staff with an Exceptional Service Fee. A tip jar is located at the cabin exit. Now you have a nice flight and thank you again for flying No Frills Airlines.