What will the Airlines Fee’nk of Next????
One thing is sure; you can bet that new ideas are being thought of while you are reading this article. As we have seen the airlines remove movies, peanuts, pretzels, (and the ever popular snack mix) from their flights that kept our mouths and minds busy while in the air. We have seen them take away the free use of pillows, and in some cases even blankets (unless you ponied up a fee), and that was just the small things. What about the terribly unpopular “baggage fees”, as well as those pesky “change fees”. Well hold onto your wallets. (I used to say hats but) I have heard reports that one airline started assessing folks a carry on hat fee. (although a spoof the rumor got a lot of recent press). Did you know that just for the third quarter period of 2010, that the airlines (according to their own industry figures) pulled in a whopping 900 million dollars in baggage fees, and a mere 600 million in reservation change fees.
All of this has the flying public wondering what possibly they could think of next. OK you asked, so here goes. You might be surprised to know that some airline carriers are either considering or are already charging fees related to the following items.
- Lap Children – The airlines have long been aware that children under 24months are not safe flying on aircraft while in the arms or laps of parental passengers. And the thinking is that by charging a lap fee, this might urge parents to purchase a child’s rate seat.
- Bathroom (Lavatory) Use – While some air carriers are considering this form of revenue enhancement, one airline (Ryanair) is already charging such a fee for use of the bathrooms on board their flights.
- “In Person” check-in fees – The thinking here is that the carriers can immediately save money by not having to have as much staff at airport locations for face to face contact with the passengers. Well that’s a fine idea, until a flight cancels and passengers require assistance, accommodations, or rerouting. (It’s a Bad Idea Air Carrier Guys)
- Credit Card Fees – By making customers pay a fee for using their credit cards for purchases and paying for other “fee” services, they would reduce their administrative costs by offsetting the fees that the credit card companies charge the air carrier to be able to accept credit cards as a form of payment. OMG, you are telling me now that in addition to charging folks a fee to take their luggage in the luggage hold of the aircraft, you’re going to charge them yet another fee, because they have to pay the “baggage fee” by credit card? Have you have no shame at all? Well get this. Again this is a fee that two air carriers are already imposing on their customers (Ryanair, and British Air) are both assessing their customers’ service fees for the use of credit cards as a form of payment.
- Carry On Baggage Fees. Wait just one Minute. You are telling me that now the airlines want to charge me a fee to utilize the overhead storage space in the cabin of the aircraft. This idea is nuts!! But guess what…..(Spirit Airlines) has seen fit to bring back nuts to their flying practice, but not the kind in the sealed foil bags. They are already charging passengers fees for their carry-on luggage.
So there you have it! Just some of the ideas being bandied about, and even put into action by some of the airline companies to date.
So just when you thought you’d seen them at their absolute worst, it was merely the tip of the iceberg. Someone should let them know that icebergs have had a history in wreaking havoc on the travel industry in the past.
Please excuse my lashing out at the airlines, but they do need to hear from the public about how we feel on such fees that effect us, so we should speak out when so moved.
For more information on Newly Implemented, or Proposed Airline Service Fees, you can contact Mike via email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can tweet (or follow) Mike at http://www.twitter.com/cruisewithmike . You can “Join” our Travel Club at http://meetup.com/Sun-Cities-Travelers-Group/ Mikes web site can be found at www.mberryhill.cruiseholidays.com . You can follow this blog (or subscribe to it) at http://www.cruisewithmike.com (or merely click on the subscribe button above to have daily delivery to your email). View all of Mikes uploaded Flickr Photo Galleries at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cruisewithmike/ . Mike also is editor of his own twice daily e-newspapaer called “The Compass Headings” you can see (or subscribe to) it free! at http://paper.li/CruisewithMike
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