I paid my huge baggage fee, so no wonder I feel ripped off when the airline ruins my bag


There's a fine piece on AOL travel today by Jordan Simon about the ridiculous fees airlines charge on everything from booking to baggage. Granted, airlines had to do something to correct course after the dip in air travel following 9/11, the soaring cost of jet fuel and all that.

But now that travelers are back in flight and fuel costs have leveled, you'd think airlines would give customers a break. Well, that all depends on how you look at it.

On the one hand, as United spokeswoman Robin Urbanski told me, "Air fares are at a historic low, adjusted for inflation." And guess what? Urbanski is right about this; I remember paying about $150 to fly between Chicago and Philadelphia 15 years ago, a ticket price you can still land if you play your booking cards right.