ADD UP THE ‘EXTRAS’

I love to travel.  Let me rephrase that.  I love being in new places—not necessarily getting to them.  We’ve found new ways to add costs to things that shouldn’t be charged for in the first place.  Take airline seats.  Once they were wide and cushy and fully reclined.  Now you have to squeeze into them like a gymnast.  Every airline provided three-course meals, including lemon- scented, warmed, hand towels afterwards. No more.  

Recently, I purchased a ‘great deal’ on a roundtrip, 12-hour flight to Sydney.  Then the add-ons trickled in.  Checking one bag would be an extra $50.  My original seat choice showed the majority were taken, so I was forced to take a middle seat towards the back.  However, a few days before my flight, I was ‘magically’ offered 50, new seat choices up front, for only $150 extra. They had both aisles and windows and extra, leg room.  What luck!!   

Visiting family recently, I chose an Air B&B near my favorite hotel, because it was half the price.  Well, it started that way.  The tiny room was cute, though part of the house, so I could hear everything.  The couple that rented the room next to mine clearly had no clue that their bed was mere inches from my head.  There was also no window or view.  On the final bill, there was an extra $100 charge for cleaning, $49 for taxes and a $75 service fee.  Guess what?  It was MORE expensive than my favorite hotel, minus the ocean view, space and privacy!

Dare I tell you about my hotel room in Honolulu last night?  It was located smack between the ice machine and the elevator.  When I opened the door, I discovered the mattress wasn’t flat but actually listed to one side.  It also faced a major construction site. When I asked to move to another room, the woman at the front desk said with a completely, straight face, “You paid for a STANDARD room.  If you want a DELUXE room, that is another $100 a night.”  “Let me get this straight, I said, “your STANDARD room comes with a lopsided mattress, is noisy and has no view?”  She had no comeback.  

I walked outside and there were homeless people everywhere.  I can’t help but wonder if all these ‘extras’ our economy is charging are keeping so many from having the bare essentials.  What’s next, a surtax on sand?   

5 thoughts on “ADD UP THE ‘EXTRAS’

  1. Hi Helen, Yep, this is what the world is coming to—unfortunately! Aren’t we glad we grew up in different times! People here in Florida are driving like their car is a ball in a pinball machine! Remember how courteous people were when you signaled your turn into a different lane on the freeways in L.A. back in 1975? It was the law in California at that time that you had to let someone into a lane if they signaled they wanted to merge into that lane. Is is like that now in L.A.? Doug

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    • No. It is absolutely NOT true. Driving in LA is now so stressful that recently, after spending several hours on several freeways, I had to pull off the freeway and actually burst into tears. I was shaking. No one lets you in. The only way to merge is to be aggressive and hold your breath. People are rude. Horns honk often and chaos is everywhere. Recently, while pulling into the Santa Monica Whole Foods, the car in front of me stopped abruptly and the driver jumped out, leaving her motor running and the door wide open. Seconds later she was brawling with another woman in the parking lot. That’s how life is in this fast lane.

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