Travelers aren’t flying high

It was just coincidence that an airline announced it would charge a fee for carry-on bags just days after English police arrested two German women who allegedly tried to a board a flight at Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport with a deceased 91-year-old relative in a wheelchair.

The women were reportedly trying to avoid repatriation fees required to transport the body to Germany, which apparently cost more than the airline ticket.

“I have never heard of anything like this before. It is a bit of a strange one to be honest,” an airport spokeswoman said. Oh, those uncultured British. The film “Weekend at Bernies” never made it across the pond?

Dead bodies or not, flying the skies remains unfriendly.

US Airways and United are once again engaged in merger talks. Financial analysts say it would be a good deal for the struggling airlines. But it wouldn’t help financially strapped travelers.

UBS analyst Kevin Crissey believes a major combination such as United-US Airways would reduce capacity as much as 3 percent, mostly in the United States, USA Today reported. With fewer seats and less competition, airfares should rise, Crissey predicted. Naturally.

Meanwhile, many are upset at Spirit Airlines’ announcement that it will charge passengers for carry-on bags that don’t fit under the seat. This is in reaction to the fact that fees for checked luggage have caused some people to carry on even more ridiculous amounts of luggage. We don’t think Spirit’s idea is that outrageous.

It’s not like they are charging for use of restrooms, as Ireland’s Ryanair is making good on its promise to do. It will reduce the number of restrooms on its planes to one, to allow for six extra regular seats. “By charging for the toilets we are hoping to change passenger behaviour so that they use the bathroom before or after the flight,” a spokesman told the UK’s Daily Mail.

Ah, those Ryanair behavioral health experts. Changing hearts and bladders by locking people out of the loo.

Back in the U.S., a new rule that prohibits U.S. airlines from keeping passengers on airport tarmacs for more than three hours takes effect April 29. The rule came about after several nightmarish incidents in which passengers were stuck on planes for hours, often without food or water, and with stinky toilets.

Naturally, airlines insist the rule will result in more canceled flights and higher costs. (They will cancel flights after sitting two and half hours to avoid the fine that comes after sitting longer than three hours.)

That sounds reasonable to everyone who isn’t running an airline.