The life of a photographer who likes to shoot just about anything.

Air Travel Sticker Shock

London Cab and Big Ben and Parliament

I was planning on a trip to London, England later this year. It would be a family vacation but I could still photograph to my heart’s content, adding to my stock photo collection. My wife and I haven’t been there since the 1990’s. Our trips have always been great – London, Bath, Stonehenge, Arundel and Leeds Castle, and a host of other places. My son, who is 20, knows about our trips and how much fun we have had. He has repeatedly asked, “So Dad, when are you taking me?” The fact that he’s 20 and still wants to spend his vacation with me is wonderful to hear as a Dad. I figure, “He won’t feel this way much longer, so I’d better hop on it.”

So this year, looking at our family situation, it seemed that it might be possible. There would be 4 of us, including my teenage daughter. It would be in the fall, during the offseason, so I told my wife to start researching airline ticket prices to see if we could make this happen. Wow! Holy smokes! (I prefer not to scream the expletives that I really feel.) $500 PLUS another $500 FOR TAXES AND FEES! What?! (There were other prices – higher and lower – but my emphasis is on the taxes and fees. Everything I list is per person) An approximate 100% markup on taxes and fees?! My wife and I were stunned. There were some combined fares around $600  on airlines where the name wasn’t listed until you booked the flight. Oh yea, I’m going to do that. Book a flight on some unknown airline from third world country with fourth world pilots.

When you do the math and start adding up tickets + fees + taxes + bags + insurance = wow. Can I afford this? I’m not sure. And I really wanted to walk the streets of London with my son.

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