On the Wall Street Journal's "The Middle Seat Terminal Blog," blogger Matt Phillips asks whether it's ethical for airlines to charge for water. He also offers readers the opportunity to cast a vote on the issue, and more than 600 have so far. Read the blog and cast your vote here.
So far, the results don't look good for airlines now charging some customers for water (are you listening, US Airways?). I'm guessing this survey would be weighted to people running businesses, or with a high level of interest in the business world, which you might think would make them more sympathetic to the economic argument for adding the charge. But, so far, more than 50% say it is not ethical.
For the record, I cast my vote for "D," because I could consider free access to water on flights a health issue. I also should note that, for health reasons, I've been urged by doctors to make sure I stay fully hydrated on flights. Of course, this also means I'm supposed to shun wine on the flight because alcohol consumption increases deyhydration, but I don't always do that! (I do, however, increase my water consumption to compensate.) Hydration also is a factor in avoiding deep vein thrombosis from long-haul flights. In fact, I would argue that airlines already are too stingy with their free water. And yes, I know travelers can buy bottled water in the airport terminal to take on their flight, but for long-haul routes one bottle is not really sufficient.