I guess airlines would be bankrupt if I were in charge. In the beginning, I thought the first bag check fee was a bad idea as I believed (still do) that one bag is inherently part of the travel experience. Better yet, I was really convinced that the fee for buying your ticket from an actual person was a bad idea. I mean, the thought of charging someone extra for taking their money in person just didn’t sit well with me…..still doesn’t. But in the end, I came to support the idea of “unbundling” and moved on. I suppose modern airline financials have proven my initial thoughts wrong. Like I’ve said before, I’m an airline ops guy, not a bean counter. Guess it’s a good thing I was pretty good at making the trains (err.. planes) run on time since I obviously don’t have a future in airline fee decisions.
Still, I’m left in wonder when I read things like Frontier charging a fee to carry on your luggage. Overhead bin space is now in big demand, and people are going to pay the fee. Obviously, this isn’t a brand new idea as Spirit has been doing it for a while, and Frontier is now owned by the some of the same money people as Spirit. While I tend to think that there is not a great deal of interest in following this idea at the big legacy airlines, I have to wonder how often some financial analyst floats the suggestion? Could the day come where your elite status or credit card affiliation waives the fee for one checked OR carry on bag? It could, but color me hopeful that’s not a choice we ever have to make.
-MJ, April 28, 2014