United Airlines will become the first big U.S. airline to limit low-fare customers to one carry-on bag that fits under a seat, and will defer delivery of dozens of planes from Boeing as part of a push to boost profits.This story, from the Onion, is getting uncomfortably close to reality:
The announcement on Tuesday could frustrate flyers who already feel burdened with airline travel restrictions and fees.
United, the No. 3 U.S. airline by passengers carried, said customers who bought its cheapest fares would not be assigned seats until the day of departure, meaning people on the same ticket may be split apart.
United will also prohibit these travelers from carrying on bags that can only fit in overhead bins, and they will not accrue miles toward elite status.
In its ongoing effort to cut transportation costs and boost profits, United Airlines announced Tuesday that it was exploring the feasibility of herding them into planes and stacking them like cordwood from floor to ceiling.Decades ago, airline travelers looked down on Southwest as being a crap-ass airline with "cattle-call" boarding.
"Research shows that we lose millions of dollars each month by having them all sit upright in individual seats for the duration of the flight," said CEO Glenn F. Tilton, speaking to reporters at United Airlines' corporate headquarters. "However, if we were to remove these seats, we could just sort of stack them all in there, one by one, as they file into the plane."
But nowadays, compared to United, SWA is a class act.