When paying for that flight, there can now be many other extra fees involved. Don’t have status or the right credit card, you’ll pay a fee for checked bags. Want to pick your seat, that will cost you. Maybe you need to change your flight, yes chances are- it will cost you…
It would be nice to see these extra fees go away but one major US airline says the fees are here to stay.
United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek says the extra fees are here to stay because, it’s what businesses do according to NBC News.
At an industry lunch a couple of days back, NBC says that Smisek “defended airlines even as they reap billions in profit and face federal probes into pricing practices“.
He feels that travelers have a hard time understanding that the airlines are a business. Smisek also says that charging for more legroom is what businesses do.
It’s hard to fully disagree with some of his points.
He compares the bundling of extras into airfare (luggage, space etc..) like we would a cell phone plan.
From NBC, “If you want more data on your data plan so you can watch faster, better cat videos, you call AT&T, and they’re happy to increase your data plan,” said Smisek. “And they charge you for it. That’s what businesses do.”
The articles mentions that Smisek also said inflation-adjusted airfare is cheaper now (in 2015) than they were in 2000. While the airlines are profiting from fees, they have improved services, raised salary for employees and returned cash to shareholders.
While I see many of the points related to charging for extras like picking a seat and more legroom, I still don’t understand why a checked piece of luggage is considered in the same category. Haven’t people (just about) always brought luggage to check with them? Or maybe we’re supposed to fly with the clothes on our back. (This phenomenon of everyone having smaller rollaboard luggage is definitey a newer thing and causes other problems in itself.)
Find out more from NBC News here.