Absurd as it may seems, it’s very possible the airlines are making more money on the persistent and aggressive fees they’re charging than on ticket sales.
A recent report from the Department of Transportation reveals that in 2010, the airlines raked in a whopping 5.7 billion dollars in checked bag and changed flight charges.
And we the flying public keep paying and the airlines keep gouging.
Hotelmarketing.com went so far as to suggest that airline economics are so bizarre that the airlines profited more by checking our bags than they did flying us anywhere.
Which prompted travel guru Peter Greenberg writing in BNET, the CBS interactive network to say the airline accountants are running the asylum (the airlines), taking our money shamelessly, as we meekly hand it over.
The airlines euphemistically call all those fees, a la carte pricing, but Greenberg isn’t having any of it.
A la carte pricing, he implies, is designed to give the customer real options to help him or her plan effectively and stay within budget.
No such choice exists realistically in the airline culture.
With Spirit Airlines now charging a fee for carry-on luggage, where is the passenger’s freedom to choose?
And of course this is the tip of the iceberg.
There are charges for food, pillows, blankets, certain seats and we really believe there will be a charge to use the toilets in flight.
Another painful negative is the sheer chaos during boarding and seating.
With as many people as possible avoiding luggage fees by cramming everything they own info a carry-ons, passengers are delaying flight departures as they fight for the limited overhead space.
Airline officials claim they need the revenue to expand routes and improve service.
But the reality is they are not expanding routes or improving service. In fact the airlines are flying smaller and fewer planes and driving prices up, creating tremendous pressure in the process for the flying public.
Greenberg only partially jokes that soon we may see hotels charging for soap.
If the airlines were a country and its leaders were squeezing the people the way the airlines are squeezing passengers, they’d probably be a revolt, an uprising.
Come to think of it…