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How should I start? At the begining I guess, so here's the rant. I should mention that this is about the 10th time I've flown Mexicana, never had an issue, Love the onboard free Tecate, and the seats can actually accomodate my 6'3" 250 pound body, though they did take my deadly book of matches leaving Cabo a few years ago. @( On all these trips to Cabo, Vallarta, and most recently Zihuahtanejo, I have checked my rod tube (8' long sched 40 PVC 4" pipe, locks on one end) Never have I been charged for oversize or overweight baggage... Ok so on to the night of April 16 2008, I left Vegas on Southworst, with the tube, no problems, no charges. I get to LAX and hike my a$$ down to the fabulous Tom Bradley terminal, which has got to have been under some sort of construction since the day it was officially opened in 1983? 84 maybe. I make my way through the mass of people flying to Asia that night and find the relocated Mexicana Departure counter on the arrival level :?:?:? I met up with my Bro-in-law, and another friend who made it safely down the 405 from Santa Barbara, we get in line behind a large group travelling with about 12 Giant suitcases and paper boxes wrapped with yellow nylon rope I was expecting chickens to be clucking happily inside some of them... when we finally approach the counter the lady checks all of our papers, and tells me that there will be a $60 charge for the fishing rods. I try to put on my nice guy on vacation face and question her "Is this a new charge?" she answers in her surlyest ticket taker voice, "No Senor, we always charge this fee." Ok, I try to reason with her... "But the last many trips I have taken on Mexicana... I've nev..." she cuts me off, "Sixty Dollars or the Pipe stays here!" By this time the chickens are getting antsy and starting to squalk, I decide to pay the 60 before I end up on a no fly list or worse yet get escorted off property by Large Gorrrilla looking TSA agents. The trip to Zihauat was good, fishing was slooooooow, one early Sailfish that bit and spit the bait, trolling all day looking and finally hooked an aprox 130 pound sail in the afternoon. We got some excellent surf at Saladitas on Saturday, sat in the lineup with Corky Caroll of all people, pretty cool. The trip home was un eventfull, no charge on the rods leaving Mexico, which left me wondering about the charge on the way down. now heres the kicker, when I got back home my newest copy of Week Old News was on the table, on the last page they is a very nice Mexicana ad, complete with a very pretty chrome head tuna jig, a nice photo of Los Arcos @ Cabo and text telling me that in addition to free beer and food on their flights, I don't have to pay for and I quote "No Charge for transporting fishing equipment (1 Rod Tube and 1 tackle box) if travelling with 1 bag, WTF? I only had one checked bag in addition to the rod tube! I e-mailed Mexicana Customer service last night asking for my money back, I don't expect to even hear back from them, I'll call if I don't get a response in a few days, in the meantime, anyone travelling Mexicana with a tube containing fishing rods in the near future would be advised to carry a copy of the WON ad to save you a few bucks. it's not that I'm bitching about the 60 bucks, just the BS way these companys try to nickle and dime you over small stuff like this... Rant Over. 8) Pez Vela

This post edited by 2nakiller 05/12/2008
 

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good 2 hear u got some waves, headed down 2 mazatlan on the 27th then 2 santa cruz y 2 la saldita havent surfed saladita b4 can i reach la saladita from puerto vallarta in 1 day of driving? do u recommend any places 2 stay in la saladita? did u surf troncones? btw we surf longboards so pascuelas isnt on our schedule and suyulita is fun if u miss doheny on a saturday afternoon i dont!
cocogin
 

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I feel for you. Unfortunately, not all the employees know the rules. However, most of the airlines have changed checked baggage rules this year. Fortunately, some of the changes occurred after I made my flight plans in February of this year. I still fall under the old rules but I can just see the arguments I will get when I try to check in my icechest, suitcase and rod tube on Alaska Airlines in September. BTW, Southwest has some pretty ruthless rules on checked baggage. They told me that they will charge an extra $50 for my rod tubes if it exceeds 60 inches in GIRTH. Any one have a 4 1/2 ft rod? I've been told to use the curb side check in and pay off the porter to sneek the rod tube on board.
 

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$50 extra - no biggie. Try $85 each way for a surfboard - Keerist, it's like paying for another passenger. I usually pack my rods in with my board, but if you're not careful the ticket agent will ask if you have fishing gear and if you say yes they'll charge for that too even though the rods are in the board bag which they just soaked you for $85.
I've got a buddy that packs his kite board and gear in a modified golf bag because a lot of the airlines still don't charge for golf bags but it's just a matter of time before they catch onto that and then the golfers will be pissed.
My wife is a travel agent and she says this is becoming the norm with all airlines because of the cost of fuel, cutbacks, etc.
The whole industry is soaking every dime they can to keep in business. :x
 

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SteveT said:
$50 extra - no biggie. Try $85 each way for a surfboard - Keerist, it's like paying for another passenger. I usually pack my rods in with my board, but if you're not careful the ticket agent will ask if you have fishing gear and if you say yes they'll charge for that too even though the rods are in the board bag which they just soaked you for $85.
I've got a buddy that packs his kite board and gear in a modified golf bag because a lot of the airlines still don't charge for golf bags but it's just a matter of time before they catch onto that and then the golfers will be pissed.
My wife is a travel agent and she says this is becoming the norm with all airlines because of the cost of fuel, cutbacks, etc.
The whole industry is soaking every dime they can to keep in business. :x
I hear you. Big difference between a surfboard and a rod tube. But your wife is absolutely correct. Most airlines have changed their rules and yes, they are now charging for that golf bag too. Looks like I will get by without a extra charge because of my booking date but next year I will be subject to the new rules.

Mr friend that fly SW airlines have told me to use the curb side check in and tip the porter $20 and he will get me by without the $50 charge for my rod tube.

Alaska, had the best checked baggage policy of all the airlines with the two checked bags plus a rod tube and tacke box all free. No more with the rules change which occurred this month.
 

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I hope this doesn't come across as a rant.

As a LR fisherman living out of state and traveling to SAN multiple times a year, I fully understand the frustration you felt about being charged for extra baggage. I also understand your frustration from the lack of a consistent policy/enforcement about extra baggage from station to station. I have experienced these same frusrating situations in my own travels!

As a pilot for a major US airline just out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, I also know the difficult financial situation that all airlines, domestic and international, find themselves in. The price of fuel is KILLING the airlines and they are trying to find every possible oppurtunity to slash costs and raise revenue. This in an industry that was more adversely affected by the events of 9/11 than any other industry.

A few pertinent facts about the airline industry:

Since September 2001, the price of jet fuel had risen more than 300% and the cost of an AVERAGE ticket is still about 10% below its NON inflation adjusted price from the same time.

Since 2001, four of the six major US airlines (Delta, United, Northwest, and US Air) have been through Chapter 11 bankruptcy. a fifth, American Airlines was within minutes of filing Chapter 11 before reaching concessionairy agreements with it's employees. Most US airline employees have taken 40%+ paycuts, lost their pensions, and/or been laid off/furloughed in the last six years.

Six US airlines have ceased operation under Chapter 7 bankruptcy laws this year. I fully expect more airlines to file Chapter 11(reorganazation) and Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy this year.

Everyone always asks well what about Sothwest? Why are they still making money? Southwest was the only major airline to make a profit in the 1Q 2008. Did they make money flyng airplanes? No, they lost money flying airplanes but made money because of their fuel hedging programs (basically buying/selling fuel futures). Most other airlines are unable to "hedge" fuel to the extent of SWA because of the upfront costs and weak balance sheets beause of prior bankrupcies.

On an average, taxes/fees etc that go to Federal, state or local government make up approximately 25% of an average ticket price. That is a higher percentage tax than on alcohol, tobacco or gasoline.

I won't even get into how much government "regulation" is in a an industry that had been "deregulated" since 1978.......

Again, I fully understand much of your frustration; I have dealt with it traveling on my own airline. But until ticket prices reflect the actual cost of doing business (including skyrocketing fuel prices), they are going to continue to try and find sources of additional revenue in an attempt to survive.

Again, I hope this doesn't come across as a rant, but rather a source information that will hopefuly shed some light on why the airlines are doing what they are doing. I hope this helps.
 
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