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Flying is Expensive

I wrote this while Mr. BFS and I were on the plane on the way to Las Vegas last week…

I am super excited but airports and flying stresses me out.  There are too many people, way too many authority figures, my ears always hurt by the time that we land (yes, I have tried everything), and the extra costs are nuts!

First, the tickets were a pretty penny.  It was $800 for two roundtrip tickets and 4 nights at the Golden Nugget.  Since the listed prices at the Nugget is $39 a night right now, that means we paid about $640 for two roundtrip tickets that only cost about $400 6 years ago.

Then parking was a pain at 5:45am.  One lot was full and we barely made it into another. Then we had to wait for 15 minutes while a lady asked the poor driver all sorts of questions about baggage that he really didn’t know.  Overall, it will cost another $5 a day, which I don’t think is too bad at all. 

Once we actually got into the airport itself, we were immediately told to check everything we could for $25 a bag.  We didn’t have any check-ons, so we hustled into the security line.  Then we were put through a visual pat down in case we might be carrying an illegal $1 soda since they much rather you buy the $4 sodas while you wait to depart. 

Then there is the plane itself.  “Want to upgrade to First Class for an additional $529?”  It’s a 2 1/2 hour trip…ummm…no.  “How about some extra leg room for $39?”  No thanks.  “$8 for some tv for 2 hours?”  No.  “$7.50 for a ‘premium beverage’? “  No thank you. 

Fine, then here is your tiny seat with some guy who wants to recline ALL-THE-WAY back in front of you (seriously, I am typing this nearly blind since my monitor is pretty much forced to face my crotch) and your free water.  But wait, you get one ice cube.  That’s it. 

Since I am afraid to ask how much a few more ice cubes would cost, I have sipped down my room temperature water in silence and decided to vent to all of you instead.

I’m done whining – believe it or not, I am still super excited and pretty happy.  I just thought the annoyance factors could be entertaining. 

I’ll be posting a full Vegas cost rundown in the next week.  I also found out on the way back that there are a variety of free drinks available on Continental, but I was just too scared to ask on the way, lol.

Have any of you had any amazing visits to an airport recently?  Do you know how much the ice cubes cost?

14 thoughts on “Flying is Expensive”

  1. Everyday Tips

    I have not flown in years, so I don’t have any recent stories. I will be flying in December though, but hopefully it will all go great and my ears miraculously will be unscathed in the process.

    I didn’t know that hotels could be so cheap in Vegas. That is a trip I will take someday, but not sure when.

    It is always great to write a rant ‘in the moment’. See how great your smartphone is??

  2. No Debt MBA

    I spent a lot of the last year traveling for work and it makes me wonder what writers at GRS and the rest of the travel-is-the-best blogs are smoking for thinking that flying places is the best thing ever.

    Flying is miserable. Even in first class. A fifteen hour flight is orders of magnitude worse. And, no, paying for the extras is generally not worth it.

    Sure I’d like to visit cool places, but as a process not as a goal in itself and when I do it’ll be most likely by sailboat (as I said in my million dollar post) because then you can bring your house with you, go at a leisurely pace and travel outside of cattle class.

    Okay, off my soapbox and tangent. I hope your trip went well!

  3. cashflowmantra

    I feel your pain, or rather my knees and back do from the lack of leg room in coach. That is surprising that 2 tickets to Vegas cost that much. I would have thought that there were many specials to be had to such a popular tourist location.

  4. Dave @ Money In The 20s

    I’ve traveled a bit for work and I can’t stand it anymore.

    When I first started traveling, I thought it would be so much fun.. Fast forward 3 years and I dread dealing with airports, airlines, hotels, rental cars, etc… It seems that there is always some kind of problem!

  5. Brian

    Enjoy your time in Vegas! I am looking forward to my “free vegas weekend” in October (Finally had enough credits on Southwest fot the flights and enough points for the hotel). Too bad everything else won’t be free.

    I don’t mind flying too much, but then again I don’t do it all that often since my family was always a road trip everywhere in the country kind of family.

  6. Money Reasons

    We’re flying down to florida for about 260 a person, but what sucks it that we have 4 people to fly down (me, the wife, kiddo1, kiddo1)… So it adds up!

    We had to do early and on unusual days to get the lower fair! So prices were over $400 a person! No thank you to those prices…

    The funny thing is that I just realize that it wouldn’t be bad if I were to fly down solo… hmmm… 😉

  7. Michelle

    My husband and I just bought tickets for Vegas (travelling from Houston) for the beginning of November and they were only $188/each (Southwest had a good sale). But we will be staying a more expensive place on the Strip (I spend my extra money gambling….my husband likes a nice hotel—either way I “win”).

    My husband is 6’5″ so whoever sits in front of him can’t recline their seat because his knees are there—its funny to watch them try and try and then tell the stewardess that their seat is broken. I am waiting for the day that someone asks my husband to move his knees so they can recline—where would they like his knees to go, in the overhead compartment?

  8. krantcents

    No doubt about it flying is expensive! That is one of the reasons, I use frequent flier miles to travel, although I try to save them for longer (overseas) trips.

  9. Ashley @ Money Talks

    Flying is super expensive. I hate it. I hate the total lack of control you have over every single part of it. Security wants to touch your privates… too bad. Plane’s late… too bad. Missed connection… too bad. You want two ice cubes… too bad.

  10. Marie at FamilyMoneyValues

    Southwest is King!!! (and no, I don’t get paid by them). That said, I would rather walk across the continent with 50 lbs weights dangling from each shoulder than ride in an airplane.

  11. Shawanda

    When I was in the process of paying off all my debt, I rarely flew. Instead, I’d take a 15 hour Amtrak train from D.C. to Florida to visit my family. Now that I can really afford it, the airfare is well worth it. I’d rather spend the additional 12.5 hours free to move about and do as I please. However, I still would rather take the bus to NYC and skip the train. It’s much cheaper and I cant justify the price differential.

    By the way, I often experience excruciating pain in my ears when the plane is in it’s final decent. Everyone else on the plane always seems to be fine while I’m practically on the verge of tears.

  12. Melissa @ BrokeTO

    Woah, that’s nutty! Charging for checked bags AND extra leg room (how do they even do that?) AND TVs?? There’s no in-flight movie anymore? I’m literally flabbergasted.

    I’m in Canada, and the last time I flew our airlines (or an international one, for that matter), we weren’t slammed with any of these fees.You only have to pay for checked baggaed over a certain weight (maybe 50 kg? — enough for a large suitcase), and the only way to get extra leg room is to sit by the emergency exit, and someone usually just volunteers for it. Wacky. I have no idea how much ice cubes cost! Then again, I think our flights are a little more expensive overall, so maybe it’s a wash?

  13. Crystal @ BFS

    I can’t believe I haven’t answered these comments! I answered them in my head as I saw them but seem to have forgotten to post, sorry!

    @Everyday Tips, I love my smart phone. It was a needed business expense…

    @No Debt MBA, good luck getting that boat!

    @cashflowmantra, I was surprised to pay so much too…

    @Dave, I know! So many problems! We were delayed 2 hours on the way back.

    @Brian, have fun!!!

    @MR, lol!

    @Michelle, your poor hubby! He has my condolences for coach seats…

    @krantcents, signing up for frequent flyer miles is on my to-do list.

    @Ashley, yeah, that lack of control is infuriating to me.

    @Marie, hahaha, me too.

    @Shawanda, I have actually cried several times because of my ears while we were landing. I looked like a freak I am sure, but it hurt!

    @Melissa, the extra leg room is on the emergency exit rows, so they offer to charge you more and give you those seats. It’s nice to know the extra fee plague hasn’t carried over to Canada yet. 🙂

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