The airline industry in 2005 experienced a sea change. The legacy carriers, the Americans and Uniteds of the flying world, cut some amenities and started charging for others to compete with low-fare carriers.

"We're seeing a fascinating switch," said Jared Blank, editor of the Online Travel Review, an airline industry newsletter. "The so called low-fare carriers are offering lots of frills, and the so-called legacy carriers are offering fewer and fewer frills."

It is becoming an à la carte world on the legacy airlines. Want a pillow on Air Canada? That will be $2. A cup of soda? On American Eagle out of LAX, that will cost $1 (though that cost is billed as an "experiment" to be evaluated at the end of this month). Curbside baggage check? Two bucks per bag on American, Northwest and United.

Terry Trippler, an airline expert with online travel agency, predicts it's only a matter of time until the airlines start to charge not only for food, but also for advance seat assignments, checked baggage and even carry-on bags. Already, British low-fare carrier Flybe charges passengers about $3.50 per checked bag — if you book it in advance. It will cost double if you check it without a luggage reservation.

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