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Dear Reporters: Every Airline Charge Is Not a Fee

The Wall Street Journal should know better:  an article from earlier this week bemoans the supposed growing number of fees that airlines are charging to help them get profitable.  For example, they mention that airlines are now offering blizzard insurance.  That is not a fee – that is a product.  Seats that recline more?  That is a product, not a fee.  $50 for a one-day lounge pass?  That is a product, not a fee.  $80 for Delta’s new Economy Comfort service on international flights?  That’s a better product, not a fee.

Yes, airlines have introduced fees for carry-on bags and advance seat selection.  Those are fees, and you are free to feel about them how you want.  But if airlines want to charge for different products (seats with more legroom, insurance, etc) then I’m not quite sure why the media are giving them crap for it.  What other industry is given such grief for charging for products?

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