Baggage fees. They started in the early 2000s, with the advent of ultra low, a’la carte carriers like Spirit, Allegiant and Fontier. By 2008, American Airlines decided to jump in on the fun and started charging $15 each way for a first checked bag. Other carriers soon followed because the saw what they thought was a good thing and wanted a piece of the pie.
At the time, airlines said they needed to charge the fees to help pay for the high cost of jet fuel and other expenses of the Great Recession. Of course, the cost of fuel eventually decreased, but the checked baggage fees didn’t go away; they just slowly went higher and higher. One airline even tried to justify their baggage fees a couple of years ago by suggesting that baggage fees were good for the environment!
Anyway, unless you’re using a credit card that gives you free checked luggage, if you’re using a U.S.-based airline that charges a baggage fee (which is essentially all of them, except for Southwest), you can expect to pay about $30 for the first checked bag and between $40 and $50 for the second one. There are some outliers to this, especially for the ultra low cost carriers. They may charge more for checking a bag, depending on how, when and where you tell the respective airline that you need to check said bag. Which brings us to the title of this post.
Police recently accused a man of threatening to blow up Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, as well as kill multiple people because he was upset about paying too much money for a baggage fee.
52-year-old Andrew Greco was arrested and faced charges of making a bomb threat and terroristic threats .
Apparently a ticket agent was welcoming passengers for a Frontier Airlines flight that was going from Las Vegas to Reno. She saw that Greco had a bag and, upon questioning, he said he needed to check it. She told him the fee would be $55 and, as per the police report, he “blew up,” used “vulgar” language and gave her the middle finger because he claimed he had already paid $17 online to check his bag.
After this encounter, Greco called Frontier’s customer service call center, located in the Philippines. Greco apparently became frustrated with the call service center, claiming “they did not speak English.”
A supervisor tried to intervene, and she backed up what the Frontier rep said – Greco was going to have to pay $55 to check his bag. This escalated Greco to the point where he was told he could no longer be on the flight and would receive a refund. Greco refused to leave the counter and police eventually had to be called to get him to leave.
The next day, Frontier’ Airlines’ customer service department received “multiple, non-specific threats” to McCarran Airport. The caller, who claimed to have prior military experience, also said he would kill people in Las Vegas via a mass shooting or blow up an aircraft. He also said h was going to fly to the call center and kill everyone there.
All of these callers had a voice that was “identical” to Greco, and the callback number was, of course, his.
The police went to where Greco was staying and reported that Greco admitted he, “probably called 100 times or more.” The arrest report also said that Greco was upset and “wanted to push people’s buttons” over “what they were doing to him.”
Greco was arrested and was being held at Clark County Detention Center on $5,000 bail on the condition that he stay away from Mccarran Airport. He’s due in court for a preliminary hearing on May 11.
References: Fox5, KTNA.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary