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As ticket prices have risen
Some airlines have added a $30 fee for a second checked bag on international flights, or raised existing fees by $5 to $10. Others are charging significantly more sometimes double for overweight or oversized bags.
The reason: higher fuel costs. Oil has risen 25 percent in just four Toms Outlet Online months and now tops $100 a barrel. airlines have collectively raised fares eight times in that period, but have warned that might not be enough. Consider that while the cost of filling up your car has risen 17 percent so far this year, the cost of filling up a plane has gone up 25 percent.
United now charges $30 for travel across North and South America. and Canada. and Europe by $10 to $60. It added a $30 fee for a second checked bag on flights to Central America and the Caribbean. and Europe. The fee was $100.
US Airways raised its fee for bags weighing more than 50 pounds to $90 from $70. Oversized bags went to $175 from $100.
Most airlines charge higher fees for luggage more than 50 pounds. But Spirit Airlines now charges $25 extra for bags between 41 and 50 pounds, and more for heavier bags.
Other new fees for travelers this summer:
Delta’s premium economy seats on international flights. Cost of $80 to $160 each way. Toms Outlet Online The new seats will be available to book starting in May.
American Airlines “Express Seats” those in the first few rows of coach now cost $19 $39.
US Airways recently raised to $90 from $70 its fee for bags weighing more than 50 pounds. That’s the standard starting weight for oversized bags, but Spirit Airlines recently began charging a $25 fee for bags between 41 and 50 pounds and even more for heavier bags. United’s fee for extra heavy bags those between 71 and 99 pounds has doubled to $400.
It’s not just weight that matters, though. Fees for big suitcases generally with a combined height, length and width measuring over 62 inches are also going up. US Airways raised its fee to $175 from $100.
Airline passengers know the story: baggage fees first appeared in early 2008 and have been expanding ever since. airlines raked in $2.57 billion in bag fees for the first nine months of 2010, the latest statistics from the Transportation Department show. That nearly topped the $2.73 billion collected for all of 2009.
Raising fees for additional bags or extra weight risks less of a backlash than charging more for a first bag, which would impact more people. At US Airways, only 12 percent of the total bags it carries are second checked bags. “Passengers won’t be appearing at the airport with pitchforks.”
Travelzoo Senior Editor Gabe Saglie agrees. He doesn’t expect new fees or higher fares to stop Americans from flying. After being forced by the recession to embrace the ‘staycation’ or drive somewhere instead, he expects many people will choose to fly this summer.
Because airlines know passengers dislike bag fees (and many can be avoided), they’ve also been trying to get more money for certain privileges.
As passengers bring more luggage onboard to avoid fees, the airlines have started charging for the luxury of getting first dibs on the overhead bins. Priority boarding, starting at $10, allo Toms Outlet Online ws passenge Toms Outlet Online rs to get to their seats first. American Airlines now charges $19 $39 for “Express Seats” those in the first few rows of coach.
Starting this summer, Delta will offer a premium economy section on international flights. Passengers get more legroom and room to recline for an extra $80 to $160 each way. This could not only lure coach passengers who feel cramped, but attract business travelers who’ve been sitting in coach to save money.
Fees have become a critical piece of airlines’ profits. Delta had operating income of about $3 billion last year. It made about $1.3 billion from baggage fees alone from January to September.
Many experts and the airlines themselves insist there are more ways to charge travelers.
Hobica could also impose fees for babies sitting on parents’ laps on domestic flights (as they already do internationally) or provide more opportunities to shop onboard. They also could expand service charges like those for seats with more legroom, he says.
As the UPA Government nears the completion of its second term in May
As the UPA Government nears the completion of its second term in May, it leaves a mixed bag for the Indian economy. Much of the good work done in the first five years was undone because of policy paralysis, corruption, falling investment and high inflation in the next five. Taking over from the BJP led NDA regime in 2004, the Congress led Government saw India’s GDP growth rise from 8.3 per cent in 2003 04 to 9.6 per cent in 2006 07 as it benefited from a global economic boom. The stock markets which had turned jittery when UPA was voted into power, with BSE Sensex shedding 10 Toms Outlet Online per cent soared, touching the 20,000 mark in October 2007. India, it se Toms Outlet Online emed, was fulfiling Goldman Sachs’ prediction of becoming a superpower.
The cheer didn’t last. In 2008, world’s financial markets crashed. An extended stimulus package announced to shield Indian markets from the free falling global economy paved the way for high inflation while the rupee sank to a recor Toms Outlet Online d low of 68.75 to the US dollar in August 2013. Rising prices of oil and gold, both of which India imports in large quantities, did not help matters. The 2G spectrum and coal mining scams then surfaced and decision making came to a halt. Domestic investment bore the brunt proposed investments dropped from Rs 17.3 lakh crore in 2010 11 to Rs 5.6 lakh crore in 2012 13. GDP growth fell to an a Toms Outlet Online bysmal 4.5 per cent in 2012 13 with the Government estimating it to rise only marginally to 4.9 per cent in 2013 14. “While the average growth in the past 10 years is 7.7 per cent, the slowdown in the last few has been sharp and deeply disappointing,” says Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group. This can be largely attributed to an investment drought, he adds.
This squandering of the economic boom of the initial years, this souring of the India Story, is what the upa Government will be remembered for. india today tracks how this legacy was shaped.
As the Twig is Bent So Grows the Tree
As we approach the coming school year, we head off to the stores and malls to buy school supplies. Of course, most kids have outgrown most of the clothes they finished the last school year in just a couple of months ago. And then, there’s the usual array of binders, pencils, paper and of course the trusty backpack.
If your kids are anything like mine, it almost seems like they need a pack mule to carry all their new supplies to school. And, it seems like the book bags and backpacks get bigger every year. At the same time we’ve tried to get a backpack that’s big enough to carry everything, we could be setting our kids up for future posture problems and potentially scoliosis and other health problems.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine seem to grow like weeds. The minute you turn your back, they seem to grow an inch before you can turn back around. While it’s not quite that dramatic, they really do grow rapidly. Then, somewhere around middle school most kids have what’s called a growth spurt where they actually grow even faster. Girls usually have their growth spurt earlier than boys. Hmmm. Maybe there’s a link between ear Toms Outlet Online lier growth spurts and a higher incidence of scoliosis in girls than in boys.
Here’s the problem. At a time when kids (especially girls) are growing rapidly, they’re also saddled with as much as 20 30 pounds of books, papers, etc. in their book bags. And as we all know, most of tho Toms Outlet Online se bags are typically carried over one shoulder or the other. It’s like strapping a bowling ball to the top of a little pine sapling. Surely, it will bend under the weight. Your kid’s spine works the same way. Now, imagine that little pine tre Toms Outlet Online e growing in that bent over position. As it grows, it will grow in that same position. So, too, will your child grow to develop posture problems by carrying a heavy load of books on a regular basis while their bones are still softer and growing.
How can you tell if your kid is developing posture problems? Actually, there are a couple of ways. First, simply look at them from the back and then from the side. As you observe them from the back, see if their head tilts from one side to the other or if one shoulder is higher than the other. The slightest difference can indicate a problem that could get even worse over time if not corrected. Have them bend over at the knees. If you can see that one side of their back is higher than the other, there may be what’s called a functional scoliosis. Finally, have them turn so their side is facing you. As you look at them you should be able to almost draw a straight line from their ear, through their shoulder, hip, knee and ankle. If you can’t see that straight line, there’s a potential problem that should be addressed before it gets worse.
So, just what kind of problems might posture problems in kids lead to? First, bad posture can lead to structural problems that can lead to chronic pain and soreness in the neck, middle and lower back. Second, it will lead to uneven stresses on the spine and potential degenerative back problems as they get older. Finally, stress on the spine can also cause stress on the spinal cord and central nervous system. When that happens, there’s always the potential for a variety of chronic health problems.
So, what can be done to prevent and correct these potentially harmful effects on your kids as a result of heavy backpacks and book bags? Obviously, I think every child should be checked for postural problems at an early age. Many times these problems can be prevented with attention, exercise and good habits. Family ch Toms Outlet Online iropractors that see kids can recognize the problem and, in many cases, slow down or reverse the problem if dealt with early. While the kids might not like it, buy a book bag with rollers and an extendable handle or one that will distribute the weight load evenly. And finally, pressure should be put on school systems to reduce both the size and quantity of books a child should be required to carry home from school. These days, most families have a computer at home. School systems should make books available on DC (compact disk) to lighten the physical load of carrying books.
Your kids’ posture and health are worth the extra attention. Don’t let them grow into health problems that could have been prevented with a little attention.