The Home Warrior recently sent me an article, saying, “You probably need to see this…..” He was right. Wow, was he right.
According to MSNBC, experts are forecasting a rise in airline fees for 2011. As in, they are going to start charging us a la carte for even more items than ever before. It’s not enough that we pay for checked bags, choosing our seat, food, pillows, blankets, talking to customer service people, etc. The fees that could be introduced this year will make us look back fondly on what used to be. Remember the furor over Spirit Airlines charging for carry-on bags? That could be the next step for major carriers. And allowing people to pay extra to board first (looking at you Southwest!!), and therefore get the first shot at the overhead space, is in effect the same thing and is already happening. You want to talk to an agent at the airport? Hand over your credit card.
According to this article, the global airline industry expects earnings from a la carte fees in 2010 to hit $22 billion. $22 billion!! I recognize that because I have Elite status on American I get out of a lot of these fees. But what about someone who travels for work once a month? They may not have status. How many businesses will curtail travel due to these extra fees, and how will that affect people’s jobs? I get that the airline industry is a tough one, and that for a long time the airlines have struggled to turn a decent profit. But isn’t there a line that shouldn’t be crossed? When do they start worrying about their passengers again?