Andy Rooney is puzzled by airline fees

How much does your trip really end up costing?

The airlines are charging now for things that used to be free. Air travel was sort of fun years ago; now it's an unpleasant experience.

It's impossible to figure out in advance how much a trip is going to cost you. Not until you get to the airport and start checking in do you realize the price printed on the ticket may be just the beginning of what you'll be charged. Some airlines still allow you to check one bag free of course, but additional bags can cost $25 to $35 each.

And God help you if the bag you check is what they call "overweight." Whatever overweight is...

The airlines charge you $50 to $150 for that.

If you want to eat something on the plane, most airlines charge for a snack or a meal now. Some airlines still give you a bag of peanuts or pretzels free of course.

I flew somewhere recently and I wanted to change my seat to one on the aisle. I was told that if I wanted an aisle seat that would cost me $30 more. I mean, what's next? A charge to use the bathroom?

I have some advice for the airlines: just start with the base price of the flight, like what appears on a new car sticker and then have various options. For example, if the fare is $250, the passenger could get the tourist class package, which would include two checked bags, a seat in coach and unlimited trips to the bathroom. They'd also get two bottles of water and a small sandwich with a bag of peanuts and a copy of USA Today.

You wouldn't get anything back if you didn't read that.

Of course, air conditioning and seat belts would come free.

Written by Andy Rooney