I don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much had it with the air travel industry.

First, they took away the complimentary peanuts and pretzels. Then they started charging a fee for checked baggage. Now, Allegiant Air has taken the plunge with a fee that I knew would come eventually — although I’m still shocked that it is actually happening. From now on, passengers who book flights with Allegiant — which offers flights from Missoula to Los Angeles, Oakland, Phoenix and Las Vegas — will be required to pay up to $35 to carry on a bag large enough that it must be stowed in the overhead bin.

Customers will still be allowed to carry on one personal item that is small enough to fit underneath the seat in front of them — such as a purse or briefcase — free of charge. (What a bonus.)

I thought it was tough stuffing all of my belongings into one carry-on bag. (Remember the good old days when you could check enough luggage to get you through a three-week trip to Europe without having to do laundry?) Looks like I’ll be learning how to pack even lighter than I already do.

Last time I flew, I was able to fit my stuffed-to-the-brim backpack underneath the seat in front of me. I wonder how many changes of clothes I’ll be able to jam in there, because I cringe at the thought of forking over $35 for a carry-on suitcase. At that rate, I might as well just buy it its own seat!

Perhaps now is the time to invest in one of those cool vacuum-packing kits that I’ve seen on TV infomercials. With a $35 per flight bag fee, it might actually be worth it now. Plus, it looks super fun to use.

As airline companies continue inventing new ways to nickel-and-dime their passengers, I have to wonder, will there ever come a point when customers stand up and say, enough is enough?

The least they could do is bring back the peanuts.

Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.

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