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Do you remember the days before 9/11 when most airlines promoted the fact that they had free luggage? I specifically remember always having one complimentary checked bag, as well as a carry-on and personal item.

After the terror attacks, the airlines were in trouble and needed to find ways to add revenue due to the economic downturn and refusal of some customers to return to the air. So it made sense to begin to charge people for a checked bag at the time. I also recall that this was meant to be a temporary move to help the airlines recover.

Fast forward to 2020, where the checked bag fees remain and people find ways to jam their entire bedroom closet into the overhead bins. Seriously, it's ridiculous, watching people try to jam full-size suitcases into those small spaces, just to avoid paying for it.

Now, it appears the latest idea to save/make money may be coming to the friendly skies, thanks to COVID-19.

Flight Attendant

None of the flights I was on recently offered complimentary beverage service, due to "Public Health Recommendations." Yet we were encouraged to bring an entire hoagie and soda on board. You can bring your own food, but they won't supply it for free.

Hmmm...food that you have to buy at the airport, since you can't bring food past the security gates. It's a racket, people!

On top of that, I did sneak a peek into the "upgraded" seats, where, yes, they were handing out soda. What in the name of Doc Pemberton is this?

It's one thing to say that health restrictions don't allow it, but to then give out sodas to the cool kids in the front makes no sense, unless it's just another scam to save money. At that point, it had nothing to do with COVID-19. In my opinion, they just want to save money by not providing free drinks and peanuts.

Getty Images

Think about it.

One-hundred and fifty  people on a plane X at 75 cents for a soda is $112.50. Some people will have two beverages, and I'm not even talking about booze. Let's just round it to 250 sodas per flight. That's $187.50 per flight. Multiply that by thousands of flights each day and you can do the math about what they're saving.

If "public health" allows sodas to come back to flights, my prediction is that they will come at a cost. No more complimentary drinks. It'll be $2 for a Coke because they will have figured out how to make money from it.

So, just like bag fees, beverage fees may start to be part of the new normal. We'll eventually get used to it and stop complaining about it, just in time for them to think of another way to nickel and dime us at 35,000 feet.

End of old man rant.

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