More pain in the air

We shouldn't be surprised by this. In fact, I think the woes of air travelers has been one of my most frequent topics on WalletPop. The latest? United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlnes all have increased fares by up to $60 per round trip.

We can't say we didn't see this coming. Rising fuel prices have made it impossible for the airlines to operate profitably under their current operating structures. Increased fees can only go so far, and now increased fares are the latest.

The prices don't bother me as much as the complete lack of service on today's airlines. Customers are more of a nuisance to them than anything else, and it's unusual to fly in a clean airplane with friendly airline employees and a few nice touches (like the chocolate chip cookies on Midwest Airlines). I'm not asking to be treated like royalty. Just a little politeness and cleanliness would go a long way for me.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.