Why Airlines Want to Make You Suffer

[T]he fee mod­el comes with sys­tem­at­ic costs that are not imme­di­ate­ly obvi­ous. Here’s the thing: in order for fees to work, there needs be some­thing worth pay­ing to avoid. That neces­si­tates, at some lev­el, a strat­e­gy that can be described as “cal­cu­lat­ed mis­ery.” Basic ser­vice, with­out fees, must be suf­fi­cient­ly degrad­ed in order to make peo­ple want to pay to escape it. And that’s where the suf­fer­ing begins.