Based Here. Best Here. Surely You Jest Here?

Let's see, that's $15, another $15, another $15 ... oh, screw it.

In the dumbest move since your Texas Rangers decided to fix their first base problems with a guy who has never played the position, American Airlines is announcing it will skip the nickel-and-diming of customers and go right to the $15 gouging.

I know, $30 for your checked bag to go round trip with you is ridiculous. It’s fundamentally revolting. Don’t be surprised if the public backlash forces a reversal faster than when some carbonated buffoons once rolled out this bright idea.

But it could be worse. Imagine if you were a band, a high-school choir, a college football team, Major League Soccer club or, worse, a traveling suitcase salesman. The fee for the 6th-plus bags is a whopping $200.

Most sports teams forced to fly commercial will certainly be smart enough to find ways around the fees. But think about – for example – all the bags, trunks and bulky equipment that a TV station like Channel 8 has to fly to Oxnard, California so Dale Hansen and his ego can cover Dallas Cowboys’ training camp.

It’s just another sign of how drastically traveling to play and to watch your favorite teams play has changed in 20 years. When I started flying in the late ‘80s to cover Mavericks and Cowboys games for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, I could use another writer’s ticket without showing any ID. I could use my laptop during takeoff and landing. I could eat a hot meal with a metal fork. Shoot, I could even do this in the back of the bird.

Now, the only thing that will make flying tolerable will be watching the entertaining race and jostle for overhead bin space. Screw courtesy, now it’s about cash!

My favorite parts of the AA story are:

American has raised fares 14 times since mid-April.
American does not plan to offer refunds if suitcases do not arrive with the plane.

What's next, American charging an extra $50 for each foam finger you take into American Airlines Center?

If you need me, I’ll be buying my tickets to California before the bag fee’s June 14 deadline. -- Richie Whitt

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