air_TRAVELIt seems that the airlines are going to tack on an extra fee for trips taken around Christmas and Memorial Day. As someone who travels a lot and whose primary concern has always been airline profitability, I’m glad to see such a move.

Many of us were heartened when the carriers wised up and began charging for checked baggage. This falls into that important category for “things passengers have to do anyway so why not charge them?” Many innovative airlines have already instituted necessary charges for pillows and blankets, whose sales will double when the air conditioning is turned down. And did you see where, for a small fee, you can have a window seat? Four kids who all want to sit by the window must be a bonanza.

As a concerned traveler who never balks at smaller seats and cheap headsets, I believe there are more areas that are small profit centers, and I offer the following as a public service to our friends who are ready when we are to fly the friendly skies.

$5 for a seat in the waiting area.

$2 for the flight attendant to smile at you. An extra $1 for a verbal greeting.

$6 for the pilot to look competent. Another $1 for a uniform.

$2 to be able to get past the beverage cart in the aisle when you have to go to the restroom.

15journey_600$7 not to sit next to somebody who snores.

$5 not to sit next to somebody reading a romance novel who wants to tell you about it.

$4 not to have to sit next to someone with a small dog or a musical instrument larger than a flute.

$20 not to have to deal in any way with an unescorted 8 year-old.

$15 to sit at least 8 rows from any child under 3.

$1 for a soft drink in a cup larger than a thimble.

$8 to be able to exit the airplane in under 20 minutes.

It will be a heavy financial load for some passengers to be sure, and there is always the possibility that some carrier will undercut their buddies by not charging for stale turkey sandwiches. But we must focus on priorities and never forget that the passenger’s role is as a mere servant to the airlines’ success.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a professional mentalist and mind reader who presents his unique and unforgettable program to conventions, college and universities, sales meetings, private parties, business and civic clubs and more. He has also appeared at the Punchline Comedy Club in Atlanta and produces, along with Jerry Farber and Joe M. Turner, Atlanta Magic Night at the Red Light Cafe in Midtown. He is a member of the Psychic Entertainers Association, the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Georgia Magic Club,Buckhead Rotary Club and Friends of Jim The Wonder Dog. You can learn more at He is the author of three books: "Living The Dream," the story of the first ten years of FedEx; "Superman, Hairspray, and the Greatest Goat On Earth," a collection of mostly true stories;, and "Yes Ma'am, You're Right: The Essential Rules For Living With A Woman."  Mark's day job is as a freelance writer and communications and marketing consultant. Mark has traveled around the world twice but has never been to Burlington, Vermont. He does not eat beets or chicken livers, and he has never read "Gone With The Wind." He is the only person he knows who was once a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists. He is a fifth generation Atlantan,  the father of three, and the grandfather of five. All offspring are demonstrably perfect. He lives in Smyrna with his wife Rebecca (aka The Goddess) and two dogs: Ferguson, an arrogant Scottish terrier; and, Lola, a Siberian husky who is still trying to figure out what the hell she's doing in Cobb County.