Turkey-nomics: Five reasons airline fees irritate OpenSkies CEO this Thanksgiving

We’re all fed up with just about every aspect of air travel. The seats are cramped, the employees are rude and the TSA is trying to feel us up. We’re told that fares are cheaper than ever, but nobody seems to care about the high rates of unemployment and under-employment that have come to characterize our economy … meaning that these “cheap tickets” have a proportionately higher impact than appearance would dictate.

Meanwhile, the extra fees being tacked on haven’t been a big hit with most consumers, leading to an additional dose of animosity this holiday travel season. Well, one air carrier is fighting back. Dale Moss, CEO of OpenSkies, seems to be pretty fed up with the situation. In response to a report by the Consumer Travel Alliance, he took the time on the OpenSkies blog to remind his customers that his airline doesn’t charge extra fees for anything.

So, what got Moss all charged up? The Consumer Travel Alliance did some digging into the issue of hidden airline fees and found some disturbing (and downright bizarre) data:

1. Turkey equivalents: appalled at how much your Thanksgiving bird cost you this year? Well, Americans will buy the equivalent of 12.6 million of these gobblers when paying the extra fees associated with air travel during the holiday.

2. The big number: in case you aren’t tuned in to turkey economics, that adds up to $167 million in additional fees paid by consumers.

3. The small number: it’s based on the average cost of a 12-pound turkey this year: $13.25.

4. The profundity: the airlines could use this extra cash to buy a 12-pound turkey for every household in California.

5. The affected: according to the Air Transport Association, 24 million Americans will take to the skies during the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday travel season.

“Feathers are flying over hidden airline fees, because Americans are justifiably angry that they can’t see the true costs of air travel, nor compare the price of different flights against one another,” said Charles Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance. “Airlines expect consumers to dig through thousands of words of gobble-gobbledygook to find even the most basic fees. We say stuff that. It’s time to talk turkey and show consumers what their tickets will cost with all the fixings included.”

[photo by richcianci via Flickr]