We greedily sold our dignity for the sake of cheap flights.
Lured in by some ridiculously low price - less than you’d pay for a pizza - you discover, as you’re pressing the last few buttons in the online booking process, that fees, taxes, your boarding card and suitcase AND paying by card when clearly you can’t pay them cash, add up to far more than your seat.
You feel so cheated, you to try to beat the system by taking only hand luggage.
There’s a frantic pre-flight night of packing and unpacking. Then you find yourself in the cattle pen at the gate, affecting nonchalance but in a cold sweat of dread, hoping the airport harridan parading up and down the queue with the cardboard box equivalent of a cat o’ nine tails doesn’t pick on you.
You don’t feel safe until you’re on the plane, shoving your bag in the overhead locker. I once witnessed an airline jobsworth pounce on an elderly couple just as they were about to step onto the Tarmac. Clearly trained by MI6, she had spotted that wheel stops took their bags two inches over the size limit- and forced them to pay up.
Well, no longer will this go on. Last week, EU air travellers got some wind beneath their wings, courtesy of the European Parliament. From now on, essentials will have to be being included in the advertised air fare and a standard size set for all airline hand luggage is to be set.
Great news. Only, I can’t help thinking some budget airlines will find a way of extracting extra cash from us by other means. We’ll probably end up paying for lifejackets and sick bags.