06/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

New Secret Airline Fees

Say goodbye to the carefree days of free bag checking at the airport. More airliners are announcing they're going to be charging passengers for checking luggage, placing the blame on rising fuel costs. Look for automobile gas stations to soon jump on the bandwagon by charging fees on squeegee use and incomprehensible directions.

American Airlines already has an unhappy face in my book for their meals-for-money policy. It's bad enough that they make you pay for food on a cross-country flight, but to make you pay exorbitant prices for the same nuke-in-bag chicken sandwich you used to get for free?

That's more depressing than watching a bungee-leashed toddler take the seat behind you or seeing your neighboring passenger requires a seat belt extender.

You might think it couldn't get any worse, but using my Law & Order-honed investigative skills I've uncovered some yet-unannounced charges and penalties coming soon to an unlocked tray table near you:

1) Penalty for not keeping your seat in a full, upright position when asked: $5-per-incident.
(Seats found upright, but not full: $3 penalty)

2) Charges for use of front seat pouch items:

• Dull magazine: $7
• Interesting magazine: $10
• Emergency evacuation manual: $3
• Previous passenger's unfinished food items: $1.50
• Barf bag: $2
(Can be applied toward $10 barfing fee)
• Sky Mall: $5
(Can be a applied toward the purchase of a genuine replica Harry Potter wand or ceramic backyard critter)

3) Seat Reclining Fees: $1 per inch

4) Pilot Humor Tax: $5 flat fee

5) Footwear Removal Fee: $10 per shoe
($5 no-sock penalty)

6) Flight Attendant "Emergency Exits" Performance Gesture Fee: $2

7) Overhead Storage Fee: $5-$15, depending on how much your item "settled during flight."

8) Premium Service Add-ons:

• Ice: $2
• Full can of soda: $5
• Napkin: $2
• Pillow/blanket: $10 each
• Waking you up: $1
• Not waking you up: $5
• Smile: $2.50 per incident

9) Child Volume Penalty: $1 per decibel

10) Headphone Fees*:

• Rental fee: $5
• Adjustment fee: $2
• Activation fee: $2
• Excessive cerumen fee: $2

*All prices per ear.

11) Bathroom Fee: $2 per minute after the first minute
(No-flush penalty: $5)

12) Call-Button Fee: $1-$25, depending on level of request idiocy
(Maximum fee for still not knowing how your seatbelt works)

13) Hijacking Fee: $1000 per passenger

14) "Divine Copilot Fee" for coincidental presence of clergy on flight: $25
(Atheist discount: $5)