I brew beer when I’m at home. It’s a curious hobby and the interesting thing is, I don’t drink it. I put it into kegs and feed it to the tap that’s in my bar in the basement and my wife and friends handle the drinking part of it for me. The chemistry of it all is what intrigues me! Anyway, I’ve done it long enough now that some of my friends will “sponsor” a batch every now and then. They’ll buy the ingredients and I’ll brew it for them. Recently, I’ve been thinking about charging a bottling fee. My “customers” have their own bottles, but I spend a ridiculous amount of time cleaning, sterilizing, refilling, and capping the bottles for them. 50 bottles is a lot. I feel bad about it though, because these are my friends and I don’t want them to feel like I’m bilking them out of any extra money… See the dilemma?
I’d make a horrible airline accountant. It seems as though airlines are looking to add a fee to every possible service, whether you take advantage of it or not. One of my favorites is the Frequent Flier Mileage Redemption fee! Let’s say you have 100,000 frequent flier miles banked up and you want to use them to take a vacation. If you redeem them three weeks or more prior to your departure, you can do that for free. If, however, you wait until 20 days (or less) before departure, most airlines will charge you a ridiculous fee for the privilege of redeeming your miles. Delta charged $150 for that privilege. Why? I have no idea. No matter how I twisted it around in my head, I couldn’t come up with a legitimate reason why they would need to charge people for that service. After all, you’ve flown 100,000 miles with this airline right? If the average round trip is 2,000 miles, then you’ve bought 50 round trip tickets. It’s is not unreasonable to calculate 50 tickets times $400 per ticket; totaling $20,000 that you’ve spent with this airline, and they want $150 more to let you book another ticket? That’s $600 out of your pocket to use your frequent flier miles to take your family of 4 on a trip; how ridiculous is that?
Apparently, the masses have spoken, common sense has prevailed, and the customer service operators at Delta have threatened to strike or something, because Delta has now eliminated that fee! That’s right; say it with me, “They eliminated a fee!” It almost makes you want to do a little happy-dance at your desk, doesn’t it? Now, this may not impact you if you’re an early booker. I always book early. There’s always a chance though, that I’ll have to book a trip on short notice. Family members get sick, last minute wedding invitations get delivered, there are funerals to attend, friends calling from New Orleans during the Mardis-Gras to shout, “Git your butt down here!” etc. It’s nice to know that Delta will let you cash in some miles to bounce to the Bayou for some crawfish, and not have to pay the extra cash for the redemption fee. $150 buys a LOT of crawfish, even during the Mardis-Gras!
I suppose I could consider a bottling fee. Then, why not add a delivery fee also? A $25 box fee wouldn’t hurt anyone… and there should be a charge for “handling” also. Who am I kidding, when the price of a bottle of beer goes up to $5, I’ll lose all my customers, right? Right?
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