One of the reasons I always fly Southwest Airlines is that you don't have to pay for your bags (up to two). 'Bags Fly Free' is one of their signature tag lines, and I can't tell you how much I love them for that! I am a loyal customer to Southwest, because every other airline has jacked up the price of bags, when it used to be totally free. And that is only one of the things that now cost a pretty penny, when it used to be gratis.

I was very interested in a story I saw on MSN from Business Insider, that listed 10 things that we pay for that used to be free. They are below, and just seeing them in black and white makes me angry!

  1. Airline Services  - you now have to pay for seat upgrades, luggage, snacks, movies, and sometimes wifi
  2. Water - some restaurants are now charging for H20, and not just the bottled kind.
  3. Hotel Amenities - who would have ever thought that parking your vehicle could cost almost as much as the nightly room rate? New Orleans is the WORST for this. And resort fees at Casino/Hotels are outrageous
  4. Food Delivery - with the advent of businesses like Waitr, the days of restaurants delivering food to your door for free are pretty much over. And if they do charge, it probably goes to the restaurant and not the driver, so don't forget to tip
  5. Grocery Bags - some states, like California, have banned plastic bags from stores, and some states are now charging a fee to put your groceries in the bag if its plastic, or even 'reusable'
  6. Banking - don't get me started. ATM fees, service fees, charging for a checking account, they are all considered standard practice now
  7. Directory Assistance - calling 411 to find someone's number used to be free, but now some providers are charging up to $1.99 for this service. Wow. Really, Verizon?
  8. School Sports - with tight budgets, schools are now having to charge a 'sports activity fee' if kids want to participate in an athletic program
  9. Air for your tires - better bring some quarters to the gas station if your tires are running low
  10. Online Newspapers - I hate this one. Some of the bigger papers will give you a couple of free articles before they cut you off, but they really want you to pay for a monthly subscription fee to read their content. Ugh.

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