When fuel prices started to skyrocket, Delta Airlines decided to pull it's flight from Salem Municipal Airport to Salt Lake City, Utah. The last flight departs October 10. It's a sign of the struggles that airlines face to increase dwindling profits during an economic downturn. Did any of us really expect that a big airplane full of seats was going to continue to fly into our city everyday? A city that doesn't even have a Trader Joe's. It's too bad because that Delta flight with free parking and short lines was really convenient.
In recent travels from PDX, I got a taste of what you can expect from air travel nowadays, as the airlines look out for their bottom lines. I flew a US Airways direct flight to Philadelphia Pennsylvania. $48 for six days parking in the economy lot at PDX. Extra bags, $25. You are allowed one carryon and one checked bag free. Car seats and booster seats are also free. Shortly after the plane reached altitude, about 10:30am pst, The flight attendants came out with the lunch tray. $7 for a stale sandwich and yogurt. And get this, they were saying that they only had so many meals and you need to buy one now, before they sold out. Not what you want to hear at the beginning of your 4 and a half hour journey. $2 for a coke or water, $7 for a cocktail. Seat space tight. The movie, What Happens in Vegas, was free if you have your own headsets and to purchase a pair was $5.(not the tube kind) Ads now appear on the top side of the meal tray. The best part of the whole flight though, was when the flight attendent announced on the intercom that they have this great new credit card with bonus miles for passengers who sign up in flight. They actually walked down the aisle with a clipboard and pen asking passengers if they wanted to take advantage of this great deal. I didn't see any passengers even flinch at the this idea of increasing their lines of credit. It must have been embarrassing for the flight attendant whose job description has recently changed from serve the customer to sell the customer.