Newest airline fee racket – oxygen!

Not content with charging you for water and checked bags, some airlines have discovered the lucrative business of charging for oxygen.

Not to worry, most passengers won’t run out of oxygen mid-flight when they don’t pay, the fees are being charged for those passengers that require oxygen for medical reasons.

One passenger had already booked $3,500 in tickets with Emirates when the airline notified her that she’d have to pay an additional $4,000 for a single oxygen canister for her husband who suffers from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Once she created some bad PR for the airline, they gave in, and offered to provide the oxygen for a “mere” $200, but by then she had already rebooked on a different airline.

All is not lost though, several airlines, including British Airways, Virgin and Cathay Pacific provide free oxygen canisters to any passengers that require it for medical reasons. Emirates recently joined that lineup when they announced they too would cease charging for air.

That still leaves plenty of other airlines who feel they can get away with charging between $75 and $350 for medical oxygen. In addition to these unfair charges, most airlines also ban passengers from carrying their own oxygen supplies, citing safety concerns.

One UK charity has already spent just under $70,000 in grants to provide its members with oxygen for their vacation flights.