So I officially beefed with United, and then we laid down our weapons. Now, after a very brief and playdate-filled return to New York, we headed out again this morning, this time for a more traditionally-timed sojourn to my hometown.
And with any new flight itinerary these days, it seems, comes a fresh outrage. But don’t worry, Delta: I don’t blame you for your richly anti-passenger policies. You are just keeping up with the competition.
OK: I will allow myself a little peevishness at the numerous unsolicited credit card applications you send to my home, many of which are trumpeting that if I open a line of credit with you, you will waive my baggage fees in future. It’s a lovely tactic: come up with an insane fee for what was heretofore always a free service and then make me open up a new credit card to avoid the fee. Swell.
The more traditional problem I had this morning was changing our flight times. My 2-year-old woke up yesterday with a croupy cough. Sounded a bit like a sea lion. By mid-afternoon, that sea lion had swallowed a frog. By yesterday evening, the cough was even worse, almost mechanically sharp and violent. Given that the only flight available to us was a 6am out of Newark, I wanted to look into flying standby at least to give the boy some time to recuperate.
Yes, I know. I wasn’t expecting anything less than the $50/ticket standby fee, or the $150/ticket fee to fly tomorrow instead of today. I know those are the new rules.
All I’m saying is: I don’t have to like them. They suck for everyone, but most of all, it seems, for families.
And they’re not done. Mark my word: the days of being able to check in infant car seats as luggage for free are coming to an end. So, likely, is free gate-checking of strollers. It’ll all pass into oblivion the way that pre-boarding for parents with small children has. Traveling with children will become, finally and truly, the parent’s own damn fault and the parent’s own damn problem. The only penance, of course, will be additional payment.