As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, a survey of over 1000 travelers by the Consumer Travel Alliance showed that most missed included checked luggage in the flight’s fare. It has now been a couple of years since airlines started separating costs from what used to be a single charge. These days, on most airlines, you can expect to pay extra for checking luggage, eating meals, reserving seats, and entertainment.
It was a necessary move in order for the airlines to stay in business. With the cost of fuel going through the roof, the only way they could turn a profit was to reduce the seat cost but charge extra for everything else. US Airways president Scott Kirby said his airline will bring in $500 million through these charges, making a profit of between $450 million to $475 million. “A la carte revenues represent 100 percent of that profitability,” he said.
But even when fuel prices dropped, the fees remained, which is what has angered many passengers. A major issue is that airline customers have no idea if what they are paying bears any resemblance to the actual cost of providing the service. There is talk of government regulations that will force the airlines to publish the “full” fare (including mandatory charges) alongside the full fare plus baggage charges that used to be included in the price. This new rule may go into effect early in the new year.
In a post I co-authored called 99 Ways to Use the Web to Travel Like a Ninja, we talk about ways to work around some of these issues, like using this airline baggage fee chart to see which airlines charge for luggage and how much.
What bugs you the most with the new era of flying?
[Image: stevebott / Flickr]