1 The Cost of Flying Across the Country to Be a Guest at a Convention | The Billfold

The Cost of Flying Across the Country to Be a Guest at a Convention

Up in the Air

Opening Uber, seeing the “Surge Pricing” notification: $0 (because NOPE)

Yellow Cab to SEA: $50.70 (I’m going to this convention to talk about freelance writing, but I’m also going as the “occasional nerd musician” part of my bio, so I have music and merch stuff in two big bags. Otherwise I would have walked to the metro.)

Checking two bags: $60 ($25 for bag one, $35 for bag two, and why is it more expensive to check a second bag? It seems counterintuitive, economically; you want people to think checking two bags is a really great deal.)

Airport breakfast, SEA: $5 and change (I didn’t get the receipt so I don’t have an exact figure; included a banana, a lemon currant scone, and an enormous cup of coffee.)

Airplane WiFi, SEA-ORD: $9.99 (First time I’ve used internet on a plane, but I was able to complete five articles on my travel day so it was WORTH IT.)

Airport lunch, ORD: $12.12 (I kept the receipt this time, and had an Italian club sandwich, a flavor-free Red Delicious apple, and a brownie that was as rich as a cheesecake.)

Boingo WiFi, ORD: $0 (I couldn’t get it to work for some reason???)

Airplane WiFi, ORD-DCA: $3.99 (I was hoping I’d get WiFi for the full day since I already paid for it once, but ah, ‘twas not to be.)

DC Taxi, DCA to convention hotel: $66.44 (I really did not want to pay this, because the DC metro system would have dropped me off literally right outside the hotel, but my flights were delayed and I got in at 11 p.m. instead of 9 p.m., meaning the metro was running sparingly. So sparingly it would have taken me 90 minutes to get there. So I cabbed.)

The hotel room: $89

Dinner: $0 (I got in to the hotel at midnight desperately wanting a Manhattan and a grown-up meal, but everything was closed. All the hotel stuff, including the bar, was shut down; and Eat24 was like “there is no place that delivers to your location at midnight,” and then I checked Dominos and Papa John’s and all the sad pizza places and even they did not deliver, and then I called the front desk and confirmed that nobody delivered anything at midnight in this town. So “dinner” was two granola bars and a cup of chamomile tea.)

TOTAL: $297.24



9 Comments / Post A Comment

dotcommie (#662)

no delivery at midnight?! THIS is what is wrong with DC

@dotcommie According to the open thread, she’s technically in a Maryland suburb of DC! DC proper does have some late night delivery…. not a LOT but it exists.

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

@apples and oranges Correct! I am in Rockville, MD. You’d think there’d be at least one place, though!

mariajoseh (#405)

@dotcommie Mexico City doesn’t have deliveries after 10pm. I learned this the hard way. I think it’s a safety issue, because pizza places in my small south Mexico hometown do deliver til AT LEAST 11

calamity (#2,577)

@apples and oranges Yeah, DC proper is much better! Manny & Olga’s delivers until FOUR AM on weeknights. On weekends you might as well order it in for breakfast.

I don’t see the actual cost of the flights in there. Did that get reimbursed or use bonus miles or some such?

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

@Glen Raphael@facebook I didn’t pay for the flights yesterday. That’s why I didn’t include them. Flights were $322.20.

readyornot (#816)

I am so sorry about the delays and no dinner! Sounds like taking a cab was worth it.

I am not sure why the second bag is more expensive, but I suspect it has something to do with price discrimination. Usually buying in bulk is cheaper because of economies of scale of production. That’s not really true with airline flying, though, since more bags per person means more weight means more fuel.

Also, yes, a manufacturer of, say, cereal is trying to get you to buy more cereal overall. But an airline knows that if you want to check two bags you probably HAVE to check them no matter what, you’re stuck, and they can gouge more revenue out of you. That’s my suspicion, anyway.

marcmagus (#7,536)

“why is it more expensive to check a second bag?”

I presume check bag pricing is designed to discourage checked baggage, not as an additional source of revenue (although I’m sure it functions as both). More baggage means more weight means more fuel costs, and more checked baggage means more baggage handler wages paid.

They want you to think “I saved money by only taking one bag!”

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