Image: Travelers in airport
Paul Beaty / AP file
Tired of the hassles and now the various extra fees that come with flying? Many people feel the same way.
updated 9/22/2008 9:38:04 AM ET 2008-09-22T13:38:04

Additional baggage fees. Extra charges for snacks and pillows. More moolah for an aisle or window seat. These are just some of the many ways airlines are getting you to cough up even more dough when you fly the already expensive skies.

We asked readers what they thought of all the new fees airlines are charging, and the response was decidedly one-sided: The airlines have made the unpleasantness of flying even more unbearable.

"If we have to pay more for flights ... why must the customer service at the ticket counters, gates and on-board go down? One way to make the experience of paying more for the flight better would be to INCREASE service to the customer and lose the attitudes," wrote Marc71.

Reader Midway Kev concurred: "I'll agree to pay the $50 extra bag fee when forced to fly someone other than SWA, but only if I can collect that same $50 when my bag is not handled properly."

Several people even revealed they'd given up on flying altogether. "As a former 500,000 mile/year frequent flyer, I am stating that if I cannot drive to my destination, I won't go!" Ralph Korn declared.

Read on for more reader responses.

I am not happy with any of it. But mostly the hassle of getting in past security at the airport. Not to mention, with the ever increasing delays, and lack of smoking options, it is all just too much. I'd rather ride my motorcycle to my destinations. I can see much more, go where I want when I want, and I can smoke when I want. Now that my friends is the freedom we ALL use to enjoy.— Puck2u

Flying is an exercise in misery unless you fly first class, and even that's not a guarantee of a flight worth the cost. The horrible seats, the crappy service, the miserable rations, the bins full of luggage, the idiot next to you blaring his iPod earphones. This nation needs high speed rail.— Kim-298921

Take it from someone who has to fly weekly. I think the whole airline experience is out of touch. There is no customer service anymore. The flight attendants all have a attitude, the check in counter must be giving out bonuses to its employees for charging for oversized, overweight bags.— Dylan-538515

The services offered by the Airline Industry as a whole has made the prospect of taking more time and driving where I want to go more appealing than flying aside from time, in most cases the cost factor is about the same, unless forced to by time constraints.— kentucky-538336

It's time to bring back government regulation of the airlines. With government regulation, fares are set by the FAA and since fares for the same route are identical, airlines are forced to compete on service. Back in the 1970s, airline travel was a pleasure. In flight service, even in coach, was very comfortable, with sufficient leg room and seat size and in flight meals were luxurious.— AJ-515052

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Want better service? Just book Southwest and forget the rest. I made the mistake of booking U.S. Air then 2 months later I found out I had stage 4 terminal cancer and could not travel, I was in the hospital getting chemo. My girlfriend and I lost almost $700 on that deal, they would not refund, they did put in an account good for a year but only to the same destination.— JC-309916

I have quit flying! I will probably die on this island without ever getting off it. If I want to go to the other islands I can take the supperferry. I have had a hip replacement and get the full treatment every time I fly. It sucks! If I don`t use the airlines I don`t have to worry about it.— Maui Bob

I have only two expectations: Get me to my destination on time as promised. Get my bags to my destination at the same time as I arrive. I get a little tired of all the excuses that airlines use to explain delays. Weather? Is the weather now that much worse than 10 or 20 years ago? I don't think so. Increased costs? Fine, charge me what it costs. I will gladly pay the real price if you can fulfill my two expectations.— XrayMan

Southwest Airlines is the only sane choice. Flight attendants and pilots have a sense of humor. ... Your flight attendant will smile at you. The prices are fair. I don't have to worry if I have enough money at the ticket counter to pay for my bags. And I get my bags at my destination at the time I arrive. The planes are clean and mostly ON TIME. I'm not thrilled with the boarding arrangement ... but the other airlines will not let you sit in an exit row, aisle or front of the plane unless you are a big shot spending with a company credit card.— Heidi1963

I use airlines only when it is impossible to get where I need to go in the time available. If there was a sensible rail service in this country, you would never see me in an airport again. And I used to love flying - still do when it is private flying. But the cattle chutes, complete with Taser armed Gestapo, and seats that wouldn't accommodate a kindergartner, and uncertainty as to whether you even have a seat, are intolerable. Bring back the regulated airlines — at least you had some reliable flights and quality of service.— George McKinney

I too, am tired of the surprise fees. Fuel surcharges, airport taxes, connection fees ... the DOT should clean this up. I should be able to ask a computer or an employee for an exact quote. Baggage and meal charges not included, of course.— David in Dallas

The real reason we pay through the nose is the airline industries' ineptitude. Years, decades, of inefficiency have led to where they are today. NOW, they get to cover their stupidity by blaming the oil industry. No love here for the oil people, but, that's the tip of a very large iceberg, at the least.— missingthepoint

Basic business economics, and I mean VERY basic, is utilizing your assets in such a way as to maximize the generation of revenue while still providing a safe and quality product. So American is going to keep planes on the ground longer? And not sell all the seats on a plane during the holidays? Brilliant. No wonder the airlines are going bankrupt with that bureaucratic approach.— jdubya-359037

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