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View Full Version : And it begins: Airline to start charging for carry-ons


yg17
Apr 6, 2010, 01:03 PM
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36193399/ns/travel-news/

Spirit Airlines will charge as much as $45 each way for a carry-on bag, adding a fee that bigger airlines have yet to try.
The charge will apply to bags in the overhead bin. Personal items that fit under the seat will still be free. Spirit said it will add measuring devices at the gates to determine which carry-ons are free and which ones will incur the charge.
The new charge is $45 if paid at the gate, and $30 if paid in advance, and begins Aug. 1. Spirit said on Tuesday that it reduced its lowest fares by $40 on average, so most customers won't really pay more to fly.

I don't care about Spirit Airlines. I never have flown them, probably never will fly them, even if they have MILF and Muff Diving Sales (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirit_Airlines#Controversial_advertisements), but what worries me is this:

Even though it's a minor player, bigger airlines are likely to watch to see whether customers are willing to pay for carry-ons. None of the major carriers made any immediate changes to their fees on Tuesday morning.

If this is successful for Spirit, the other airlines will follow suit. After American Airlines started charging for the first checked bag, we all thought they were crazy and no other airline would go along. Now not even 2 years later, and every major airline, save for Southwest and JetBlue, charge for the first bag.

ucfgrad93
Apr 6, 2010, 01:07 PM
Just saw this. It is outrageous in my opinion. I try and do most of my flying on Southwest because they don't charge for the 1st checked bag. I'm ok with having weight limits on bags and charging for any bags over 1, but the first one should be included in the price of the ticket.

Tilpots
Apr 6, 2010, 01:08 PM
I fly Spirit on occasion. Poor showing. Who doesn't use the overhead bins? Why drop ticket prices just to put a new fee back in?

Just one more reason I'm in favor of high speed rail.

eawmp1
Apr 6, 2010, 01:14 PM
I'd rather the airlines actually charge the ticket price they need to and allow 1 bag/1 carry-on per person. However, to look good on the comparison sites, they play the "lower fare" game and tack on extra charges later.

This is squarely aimed at the non-business traveller who tries to not check baggage and carries the huge bag on that must be crammed into the overhad bin.

pdpfilms
Apr 6, 2010, 01:18 PM
So the big airlines will be watching to see if customers are willing to pay the fee.

What other option does a flier have? You pay for checked bags, you pay for carry ons... are they going to ship their things, and pay just as much to wait a week for it?

If airlines introduce these fees, people will pay them. There's simply no other way to get your bags to your destination, and thus people don't have another option.

"Wow!" They'll say.
"Customers are paying carry on bag fees 100% of the time!"

ucfgrad93
Apr 6, 2010, 01:22 PM
So the big airlines will be watching to see if customers are willing to pay the fee.

What other option does a flier have? You pay for checked bags, you pay for carry ons... are they going to ship their things, and pay just as much to wait a week for it?

If airlines introduce these fees, people will pay them. There's simply no other way to get your bags to your destination, and thus people don't have another option.

"Wow!" They'll say.
"Customers are paying carry on bag fees 100% of the time!"

See, this is why I am voting with my wallet. I am pretty much ignoring other airlines because of their ridiculous fees and choosing to fly Southwest.

Tilpots
Apr 6, 2010, 01:25 PM
See, this is why I am voting with my wallet. I am pretty much ignoring other airlines because of their ridiculous fees and choosing to fly Southwest.

I wish I could do the same, but my nearest Southwest hub is over two hours away...

spice weasel
Apr 6, 2010, 01:32 PM
This is despicable, but it's probably a result of the unintended consequences of airlines charging for checked baggage in the first place. Right after they started charging people to check their bag, I noticed more travelers bringing huge bags onboard with them and trying to stuff them into the overhead compartments. Worried that there wouldn't be space, people would start to crowd the boarding line and "sneak" onboard before their row was called so that they could get to the open bins first. It got even worse than usual. One time, I saw two musicians who boarded on the late side try to find space for not only their guitars but their amps as well.

Smart travelers just brought their bag with them to the gate and checked it there, where they would get away without paying for it (at least on Northwest/Delta).

Now it seems that at least one airline is trying to close that loophole and make everyone pay for just about anything they bring on the plane. For short trips, I just pack ultra-light and take a small carryon. For longer domestic trips I usually FedEx my stuff ahead of time.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 02:24 PM
We know the other airlines will copy this. They will drop the ticket price a little at first then ramp the back up where they would. The first checked bag crap made them a fair amount of cash. They will do it here as well. I bet the will claim that it is because the overhead bins are getting to full and what the hell do you expect when you charge an arm and a leg to check a bag?

I fly southwest when ever possible and I do try even avoid checking a nag their but that is because it is quicker and easier to fly carry on only.

velocityg4
Apr 6, 2010, 02:42 PM
Hopefully if the other airlines follow suit they charge more for carry on than for items checked in. Nothing I hate more than ending up at the back of the plane and having to wait 20 minutes to disembark due to all the yahoo's ahead of me pulling down their overhead stored bags.

dukebound85
Apr 6, 2010, 02:46 PM
this is stupid

the price of a ticket SHOULD include a carry on

You can not fly anywhere without some sort of luggage so why they charge for this is absurd

dmr727
Apr 6, 2010, 02:55 PM
What other option does a flier have?

Charter a private jet! No bag fees, and no pesky security lines!


:p

But seriously, yeah - this is lame.

Tilpots
Apr 6, 2010, 03:01 PM
Charter a private jet! No bag fees, and no pesky security lines!


:p

But seriously, yeah - this is lame.


Or this, but then I have no idea what you do with any type of luggage.:)

http://ifieverfeelbetter.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/jetpack.jpg

Antares
Apr 6, 2010, 03:18 PM
I would be pissed if this happens with the major airlines. I never check anything in unless I'm going on a long trip. I don't pack any bit more into my carry-ons, now, than I have in the past 15 years.

Like others, I would rather luggage and carry-ons be built into the ticket prices. Anyway, I don't see how charging for carry-ons would work. How do you pay, if they force you? In addition to all the hassles that already exist with boarding the plane, are they now going to add more hassles? Having to measure everything being carried aboard....and also install a cash register at each gate along with a credit card kiosk? I don't see how this will work effectively. It will only cause further delays. Bullocks.

Needless to say, Spirit Airlines will never get my business.

killerrobot
Apr 6, 2010, 03:53 PM
So will purses count as carry-ons? Maybe this will finally give the man-purse industry the boost it needs. ;)

It's only Southwest for me - even if the ticket is a little more including all (baggage) fees because of the principle of this whole scandal.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 03:56 PM
I hope that this catches on. The charge is certainly a too high in my view, but if anything it should be slightly higher than the fee of the first checked bag. I think that if this works, the checked luggage fees could potentially drop a bit as well. I get tired of the delays, clogged aisles, etc that result from too many carry-on items. And the number of crew members that are injured in rearranging peoples' excessive amounts of crap in the bins is astonishing.

Granted, I've never had to pay fees for checked luggage and would probably be made exempt from something like this as well (if implemented at other airlines). The checked luggage fees can't work if people are bringing full-size suitcases and expecting to get them into the cabin and gate checked for free.

They will drop the ticket price a little at first then ramp the back up where they would.
So what? Sorry for the blatant assumption, but the people that make statements like this are generally the ones scouting out the discount fares that don't really cover your cost of carriage. I'm sure that any airline would prefer you pay full fare; then you won't have to pay at a later time for all of the extras. Checked luggage fees, change fees, etc are almost always waived on itineraries booked on economy Y and B (or equivalent, depends on airline) fares.

If you're facing these fees, you're probably flying for less than what it costs anyway. If you want the fees gone, pay the full price.

mkrishnan
Apr 6, 2010, 04:01 PM
So will purses count as carry-ons? Maybe this will finally give the man-purse industry the boost it needs. ;)

Per the OP, carry-ons to which a charge applies are limited to those that don't fit under the seat in front of one.... (FWIW, this is consistent with the fact that one is allowed "one carry-on plus a personal item" -- man purses qualify as personal items.)

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 04:06 PM
I hope that this catches on. The charge is certainly a too high in my view, but if anything it should be slightly higher than the fee of the first checked bag. I think that if this works, the checked luggage fees could potentially drop a bit as well. I get tired of the delays, clogged aisles, etc that result from too many carry-on items. And the number of crew members that are injured in rearranging peoples' excessive amounts of crap in the bins is astonishing.

Granted, I've never had to pay fees for checked luggage and would probably be made exempt from something like this as well (if implemented at other airlines). The checked luggage fees can't work if people are bringing full-size suitcases and expecting to get them into the cabin and gate checked for free.


So what? Sorry for the blatant assumption, but the people that make statements like this are generally the ones scouting out the discount fares that don't really cover your cost of carriage. I'm sure that any airline would prefer you pay full fare; then you won't have to pay at a later time for all of the extras. Checked luggage fees, change fees, etc are almost always waived on itineraries booked on economy Y and B (or equivalent, depends on airline) fares.

If you're facing these fees, you're probably flying for less than what it costs anyway. If you want the fees gone, pay the full price.


You missed the big part here. The airlines created that problem with the clog bins the second they started charging fees for the first check bag. They are the ones who screwed themselves over.

I would rather they raise ticket prices and screw the fees. Fees cause more problems and hell I voted with my wallet and fly southwest when ever possible. Cheaper tickets, no fees and hell of a lot better customer service.

ucfgrad93
Apr 6, 2010, 04:11 PM
The airlines created that problem with the clog bins the second they started charging fees for the first check bag.

Agreed. The first bag should be included in the price of the ticket.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 04:13 PM
You missed the big part here. The airlines created that problem with the clog bins the second they started charging fees for the first check bag. They are the ones who screwed themselves over.

They didn't screw themselves over. They managed to decrease costs while increasing revenue. The war for overhead space was going on long before the fees. Certainly it has worsened a bit over the last two years, but it's nothing new.

I would rather they raise ticket prices and screw the fees. Fees cause more problems and hell I voted with my wallet and fly southwest when ever possible.
Most rational people would agree. However, the typical consumer will jump at the lowest price seen without considering additional fees. Some airlines (Frontier to my knowledge, at least) have, nicely enough, created new booking availability where additional services are available at the discount fares at a higher booking price. However, I spoke with a friend of mine that works for Republic Holdings a few weeks back and he said that this endeavor hasn't been too successful; people still buy the lower fare and pay the fees at check-in.

Cheaper tickets, no fees and hell of a lot better customer service.
So airlines should cut their revenue streams and spend more?

the vj
Apr 6, 2010, 04:16 PM
I just moved from Venezuela to Miami, I am a resident now and I have been in the US for at least 5 years in total...

I left Venezuela very disapointed and literally ashamed of being venezuelan because I believe is a very mediocre cultured of lazy people and Hugo Chavez is just the perfect venezuelan person who rippoff his own country and people.

But when I come to the US and I see a US citizen doing the same thing that led Venezuela to the failure it is today I just feel like grabbing a gun and blow their brains out. Of course I can not do that because that is one of the things that happen in Caracas every day.

But I see people ripping off each other with such mediocre smile in their face and with lame excuses that I have been taking that people and let them know that if they want to ripp of people and be mediocre there is a country were you can move and a president you can adore and learn from, Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.

And this airline is doing just that, instead of offering a better service they are ripping off people.

Because I bet their seat space are not bigger but a tiny place where I can't fit my legs. And the seats are so together that if I have one of those fat US pigs (that are plenty) he/she will be seating almost in my laps.

If you want to charge more offer a better service then.

Guys, be carefull because the US is looking everytime more to Venezuela, I come from there and I know how the cancer of medicracy looks like, how it begins and what it does.

Take care of your country, point out the mediocre people and screem at them until they are gone, fired them, exterminate them. Make them do things right for the comunity.

bobr1952
Apr 6, 2010, 04:19 PM
Maybe I'll just buy my clothes when I get there and give them to Goodwill when I leave--might be cheaper. :rolleyes:

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 04:22 PM
So airlines should cut their revenue streams and spend more?

Well southwest apparently pulled it off.

They have cheaper tickets, no fees and better customer service.

It is hard to argue with the fact that south west is consenstly rated near the top of customer service and employee satisfaction among the airlines. Customer service goes a long way. I know people who fly southwest because of the customer service and on the flip side botcot American airlines because of their customer service or more so complete lack of customer service and out of control fees.

Rockin' Kat
Apr 6, 2010, 04:23 PM
bobr1952: Or you could just wear the same clothes every day and not wash them once.. I'm sure they'd love that when you came back for your return trip...

Personally I prefer to drive on trips when they're short enough and I have yet to have reason to travel more than two states away... so the only time I've ever flown it was on someone else's dollar and the return trip was by car.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 04:24 PM
Well southwest apparently pulled it off.
Southwest pulled it off with fuel hedges. Those don't last forever.

And yes, WN has stated that they are exploring additional fees for luggage. Don't worry, it's coming.

miles01110
Apr 6, 2010, 04:27 PM
Well southwest apparently pulled it off.

They have cheaper tickets, no fees and better customer service.

They also pay their employees less than the industry average and work them longer. Their planes are old and of the same type. They typically don't fly to major hubs.

Southwest is great if they fly to an airport near you. Personally I'm not driving from northern Virginia to Baltimore to save a few dollars.

djellison
Apr 6, 2010, 04:28 PM
every major airline, save for Southwest and JetBlue, charge for the first bag.

United didn't charge me for the first bag LAX-LHR in Jan, or this week.

Virgin didn't in March 2009.

dmr727
Apr 6, 2010, 04:31 PM
Just one more reason I'm in favor of high speed rail.

If you like rail, you should fly Southwest.

Both have trouble stopping in less than two miles. :D

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 04:32 PM
United didn't charge me for the first bag LAX-LHR in Jan, or this week.
United waives the first bag fee for most international travel. Second is waived for Star Alliance silver members as well as first and business class passengers. Third is waived for Star Alliance Gold members.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 04:33 PM
Southwest pulled it off with fuel hedges. Those don't last forever.

And yes, WN has stated that they are exploring additional fees for luggage. Don't worry, it's coming.

Again I ask. Why does south west have such high custmor satifaction and good customer service and American Airlines has such piss poor and complete lack of customer service (and logic for that matter) and with many of there piss poor policies making long time customer walk away.

Take for example this link about american airlines http://joelcomm.com/american_airlines_customer_ser.html the store sounds stupid but it is very true and I know for a fact they pull off this crap less than a year ago as my girlfriend was on the receiving end of it. She wanted to cancel her out bound flight and just have the return flight. Of course they charged her a $150 fee and that was 100% pure profit and gravy money, Hell it was more than 100% profit since the flight she was on was over book so they did not have to bump some one so her canceling the flight made them over $200 and then another $150 on top of that (and they kept the cost of her out bound flight)

Take the flip side if you call south west they answer is sure NO PROBLEM. and even give you credit for what the out bound flight would of been. Make a last minute change again NO PROBLEM. As long as the tickets were the same price and they have the room they have zero issue of doing it.

Sorry your argument does not add up and does not explain why southwest customer service is so good and american is so crappy.

dmr727
Apr 6, 2010, 04:46 PM
Sorry your argument does not add up and does not explain why southwest customer service is so good and american is so crappy.

Southwest's employees on the whole are a lot happier than American's. This trickles down to customer satisfaction, and the management at Southwest seems to be the only executive group in the industry that understands this.

However keeping your employees happy costs money, and that goes back Southwest's advantage, which, as akonradi mentioned, is the fuel hedging.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 04:47 PM
Sorry your argument does not add up and does not explain why southwest customer service is so good and american is so crappy.
Southwest scores well in surveys because they don't charge similar fees. They don't charge the fees because they're doing alright with their hedges for now and because they're heavily invested in a huge marketing campaign about the lack of fees.

Citing articles from the blogosphere is useless here. people moan and groan on the internet whenever they get pissed off. There are rants about every airline out there. And AA isn't their only competitor; Continental, laden with fees as well, has scored pretty close to Southwest in recent years. In some instances, their numbers have been better.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 04:50 PM
Southwest scores well in surveys because they don't charge similar fees. They don't charge the fees because they're doing alright with their hedges for now and because they're heavily invested in a huge marketing campaign about the lack of fees.

Citing articles from the blogosphere is useless here. people moan and groan on the internet whenever they get pissed off. There are rants about every airline out there. And AA isn't their only competitor; Continental, laden with fees as well, has scored pretty close to Southwest in recent years. In some instances, their numbers have been better.

That blgosphere rant about american you should read. It is great example of how stupid some of american policies and action are. I have personally been on the receiving end of american lack of customer service and I can promise you that blogged I link to is pretty much the exact same crap I dealt with.

It shows you the compete illogical crap that american runs.

Southwest's employees on the whole are a lot happier than American's. This trickles down to customer satisfaction, and the management at Southwest seems to be the only executive group in the industry that understands this.

However keeping your employees happy costs money, and that goes back Southwest's advantage, which, as akonradi mentioned, is the fuel hedging.

Even with out the hedging part. Happy customers means less completes and more repeat business which = more money in the long run.

Take what I pointed to in american. They charge an insane fee and poor service which in the short run means more money but because they piss off people they leave. American pissing me off translated into thousands of in losses because no only will I never fly on them again I told some family members who use to make a lot of fights each year with american and now they complete refuse to flight american. It hurts the bottom line. Short run American made 400+ per easy profit. Long run (less than 1 years time) they lost over 10 grand in revenue.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 04:58 PM
That blgosphere rant about american you should read. It is great example of how stupid some of american policies and action are. I have personally been on the receiving end of american lack of customer service and I can promise you that blogged I link to is pretty much the exact same crap I dealt with.
So the blogger gets a [restricted] award ticket, and then gets mad that that there's a change fee? It's in the fare rules for crying out loud. If you don't agree to them, don't buy the ticket. And no airline will honor later parts of a journey if you fail to board an earlier flight on the same PNR.

I hold an EXP membership with AA, and I've never had an issue with customer service. Granted, the status is supplied through appointment and not reaching the mileage/segment threshold each year, but I deal with them frequently enough.

They charge an insane fee and poor service which in the short run means more money but because they piss off people they leave.
Like most airlines, they couldn't care less about losing the business of relatively infrequent flyers. It is found that people that write nasty letters to customer relations departments about how they'll never return, blah, blah, blah, often do indeed come back when the fares are low. Not saying that this is the case with you, but it's common. If you really do provide them with significant revenue, then they'll go out of their way to make your experience enjoyable and reduce possible conflicts.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 05:06 PM
So the blogger gets a [restricted] award ticket, and then gets mad that that there's a change fee? It's in the fare rules for crying out loud. If you don't agree to them, don't buy the ticket. And no airline will honor later parts of a journey if you fail to board an earlier flight on the same PNR.

I hold an EXP membership with AA, and I've never had an issue with customer service. Granted, the status is supplied through appointment and not reaching the mileage/segment threshold each year, but I deal with them frequently enough.



But you miss the part. You want to cancel the first leg of the trip but keep the return leg even if it is a non refundable ticket I would see the logic working out like this...

I the passenger can accept the loss of money on the first leg of the tip. No big deal. But I do not think I should have to pay a fee for the return leg of the trip. But american airlines thinks I should both loss the money for the first leg and then pay a $150 fee to keep my ticket on the EXACT SAME return flight.

Please tell me the logic in that. I see over 100% per gravy money in that.

Come on I am waiting for the logic in that and not the BS that it is in the 10 pages of fine print.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 05:17 PM
Please tell me the logic in that. I see over 100% per gravy money in that.

Ok, here you go. Round-trip fares are often much cheaper than one-way fares between the same cities, especially for extended lengths of stay. Some people will try to book the roundtrips and only use the second segment to save money. If you're flying in only one direction, you need a one-way ticket. They're not fared the same as round-trips, hence the need to re-fare and re-ticket the passenger. Depending on how long it had been since the ticket was booked, inventory in the original class of service may had disappeared thus requiring you to buy into a higher fare. It's all price discrimination and it's how they all stay in business.

Had the author decided to show up for the second segment after not taking the first, there would be no available reservation as the itinerary would have been already canceled.

Rodimus Prime
Apr 6, 2010, 05:21 PM
Ok, here you go. Round-trip fares are often much cheaper than one-way fares between the same cities, especially for extended lengths of stay. Some people will try to book the roundtrips and only use the second segment to save money. If you're flying in only one direction, you need a one-way ticket. They're not fared the same as round-trips, hence the need to re-fare and re-ticket the passenger. Depending on how long it had been since the ticket was booked, inventory in the original class of service may had disappeared thus requiring you to buy into a higher fare. It's all price discrimination and it's how they all stay in business.

Had the author decided to show up for the second segment after not taking the first, there would be no available reservation as the itinerary would have been already canceled.

Does not explain it to me.

I buy round trip ticket and last min my plan change and I no longer need the first leg of the flight but I need the return flight.

I am out the money for the flight to location but I want to keep my return.

Airlines still gets the full amount of money for round trip but only fly me one way.

American charges me a $150 on top of the first leg lost. So you fail to explain the logic there. It basicly more proof the airlines are screwing everyone over or more so certain ones. There is a reason why american airlines is in trouble and some of the others. Their customer service is next to nothing.

aethelbert
Apr 6, 2010, 05:31 PM
Does not explain it to me.

I buy round trip ticket and last min my plan change and I no longer need the first leg of the flight but I need the return flight.

I am out the money for the flight to location but I want to keep my return.

Airlines still gets the full amount of money for round trip but only fly me one way.

American charges me a $150 on top of the first leg lost. So you fail to explain the logic there.
-A one way ticket may well have been more expensive than the roundtrip. They're certainly not making any additional money if you only fly one segment of the [likely less expensive] roundtrip.
-Almost 100% of people that don't take the first leg of a roundtrip will also not attempt at the second segment. Canceling your itinerary and allowing that seat to again be sold has the potential for generating a large amount of money off of a Y fare.
-What is there for them to believe that you'll show up for the second flight if you don't make the first?
-All roundtrip fare rules will state that your itinerary will be canceled if you don't board any given flight. Most likely either someone is trying to be clever and save money with a hidden city/roundtrip ticket when only one way is needed or they simply won't show up for the remaining segments.

I have a paper ticket from 2007 sitting on my desk right now, clearly stating "Void if one or more segments are not completed."

miles01110
Apr 6, 2010, 05:38 PM
Does not explain it to me.

...So you fail to explain the logic there.

Explain the logic of purchasing a ticket from an airline that more or less explicitly states their exchange/no-show policy, changing your itinerary, and then complaining when the policy is applied?

pukifloyd
Apr 6, 2010, 06:08 PM
agreed...this is totally stupid...atleast one bag should be allowed.
well...the day isn't far when they'll start charging for international flights too :(

Abstract
Apr 7, 2010, 07:06 AM
Are the airlines flying to cities and countries that allow people to walk around naked in public? No? Then ******* them. :mad:

mojohanna
Apr 7, 2010, 08:39 AM
United didn't charge me for the first bag LAX-LHR in Jan, or this week.

Virgin didn't in March 2009.

It was an intl flight. They already charge a premium for that.

djellison
Apr 7, 2010, 10:11 AM
They already charge a premium for that.

No they don't. They charge for the second bag - but there is no explicit charge mentioned anywhere for the first bag. Of course they are 'charging' for it, in the same way every plane ticket also 'charges' you for the air you breathe, the dirt you put on their carpet, etc etc etc

iOrlando
Apr 7, 2010, 10:53 AM
but does the article mention if they are simply reducing ticket prices by $75 that way their ticket prices appear lowest around but the baggage fees even it all up?

All i know is flying is getting more ridiculous. Have you seen the amount of carry on baggage since airlines started charging for checked luggage? every flight is packed...with the final people having to check their baggage due to lack of room in those overhead containers.

spice weasel
Apr 7, 2010, 02:28 PM
Personally I prefer to drive on trips when they're short enough and I have yet to have reason to travel more than two states away... so the only time I've ever flown it was on someone else's dollar and the return trip was by car.

Not a big fan of seeing the world, or even the country, eh?

bradl
Apr 7, 2010, 03:26 PM
Southwest pulled it off with fuel hedges. Those don't last forever.

And yes, WN has stated that they are exploring additional fees for luggage. Don't worry, it's coming.

Don't buy that.

SWA has been touting their bags fly free in their ads at every airport I've been to in the past 5 months, plus their ads in the media. It's something they've had in their 30+ year business model, and Gary, Herb, and Co. have no intention of changing that anytime soon.

Keep in mind that there was an airline that tried to do exactly what NKS has done, and a bit worse: SKB (Skybus). Their business model: $10 fares (excluding tax), and charge for everything else at the gate. Bags? Charged. One carry-on allowed. Any others? Charged. No check through luggage, no routing to destinations. You flew to CMH, and if you were on your way to Florida, they wouldn't route your bags to that flight, nor hold that connecting flight for you. If you bought food from them, or prior to flying, you had to eat and dispose of it prior to boarding the plane.

With the bags.. sound familiar?

SKB folded in 11 months.

Also, note how other airlines who are nickel'n'diming for bags (UAL, COA, DAL, FFT, AAL, etc.) are all in a world of hurt. FFT just went Ch. 11 and was bought out by RPA! MEP was the same. SWA is doing this with much more than hedging. If it came to it, from the profits they had from the early 2000s due to their fuel hedges, they could eat the cost of the bags, whereas everyone else has been struggling to find extra revenue. In short, poor planning by the execs of the other carriers leads to their customers being nickel and dimed.

SWA has a firm head on their shoulders, and knows what their customers want. And they are giving it to them as the see it. I don't think you'll find any one flying with them today asking to be charged for checking their bags.

BL.

leekohler
Apr 7, 2010, 03:57 PM
Just one more reason I'm in favor of high speed rail.

That is the truth! I take Amtrak whenever possible. It's clean, comfy, friendly and fun. You can get out of your seat, walk around, talk on your phone, get drinks and dinner.

Does it take longer? Not necessarily. When you factor in travel to and from the airport, leaving enough time for check in, etc., it can actually take less time.

dukebound85
Apr 7, 2010, 04:01 PM
That is the truth! I take Amtrak whenever possible. It's clean, comfy, friendly and fun. You can get out of your seat, walk around, talk on your phone, get drinks and dinner.

Does it take longer? Not necessarily. When you factor in travel to and from the airport, leaving enough time for check in, etc., it can actually take less time.

Maybe I am clueless but does Amtrack run all the way cross country?

I may look into that if they do for my next trip as opposed to plane

Can you bring luggage?

Edit: google is helping me find these answers lol

miles01110
Apr 7, 2010, 04:06 PM
Amtrak is great if you're in the Northeast Corridor. Elsewhere...not so much (imo).

Tilpots
Apr 7, 2010, 04:17 PM
Does it take longer? Not necessarily. When you factor in travel to and from the airport, leaving enough time for check in, etc., it can actually take less time.

Your right about factoring in travel times to and from airports, plus you have to add the security check time in as well. I travel to see my family in MD from my home in Wilmington, NC quite often. It's a 400 mile, 6 1/2 hour trip by car. It's actually quicker to drive there then it is to fly... And it's only an 1 1/2 hour flight! Ridiculous. Plus for me and my wife to fly it's at the very least (without luggage) $300. Add on baggage fees and it's closer to $375. I can do it for $150 in gas and I drive a big 'ol gas guzzler.

My area is competing for stimulus funding (http://www.planetizen.com/node/42264) for building out a high speed rail project and I just hope it gets done within the next ten years or so. It would link to Raleigh then could head North or South on the 95 corridor, or continue on to Charlotte and start a western trip. High speed rail would be the game changer in the travel industry. It wouldn't kill the airline business, it would just weed out a lot of the players and give travelers a respectable choice for getting from A to B. Some trips just don't make financial sense and aren't timely enough to be driveable.

mkrishnan
Apr 7, 2010, 04:23 PM
Hot on the heels of Sprit, Ryanair announces: Airline considers fee for lavatory use (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/04/07/ryanair.lavatory.fee/?hpt=T2). American travelers on a web poll so far are poo-pooing this, but the Ryanair CEO refuses to wash his hands of the idea, and he notes that wiping the extra toilets from the plane will allow for 6 extra seats to be dumped in. :)

leekohler
Apr 7, 2010, 04:24 PM
Maybe I am clueless but does Amtrack run all the way cross country?

I may look into that if they do for my next trip as opposed to plane

Can you bring luggage?

Edit: google is helping me find these answers lol

Of course you can bring luggage, Dukey. ;) Sometimes I swear that you should have been a blond. :)

Amtrak is great if you're in the Northeast Corridor. Elsewhere...not so much (imo).

Not true. I live in Chicago and it's great.

Your right about factoring in travel times to and from airports, plus you have to add the security check time in as well. I travel to see my family in MD from my home in Wilmington, NC quite often. It's a 400 mile, 6 1/2 hour trip by car. It's actually quicker to drive there then it is to fly... And it's only an 1 1/2 hour flight! Ridiculous. Plus for me and my wife to fly it's at the very least (without luggage) $300. Add on baggage fees and it's closer to $375. I can do it for $150 in gas and I drive a big 'ol gas guzzler.

Yep- I usually take Amtrak to my parents' place in Ohio. The total travel time is actually shorter.

My area is "studying the feasibility" of building out a high speed rail project and I just hope it gets done within the next ten years or so. It would link to Raleigh then could head North or South on the 95 corridor, or continue on to Charlotte and start a western trip. High speed rail would be the game changer in the travel industry. It wouldn't kill the airline business, it would just weed out a lot of the players and give travelers a respectable choice for getting from A to B. Some trips just don't make financial sense and aren't timely enough to be driveable.

Yep. Not to mention that Amtrak is much cheaper than flying in most instances. Plus, it's social. I always meet cool people on the train. At airports, everyone is just pissed off.

aethelbert
Apr 7, 2010, 05:01 PM
Don't buy that.
What don't you believe? If it's the statement that they're looking into luggage fees, I'll find a link for you.

Also, note how other airlines who are nickel'n'diming for bags (UAL, COA, DAL, FFT, AAL, etc.) are all in a world of hurt.
The complete opposite, actually. The luggage fees have been a huge revenue booster. Continental is close to profitability and United got there quite a while ago. I haven't really been following the others, though their stocks have all performed extremely well as of late. Yeah, it's not the best indicator considering that they were undervalued for some time, but outlooks are pretty good right now.

As for Frontier and Midwest, they failed for other reasons. Midwest has been struggling for a long time, probably since around 2005 before fuel prices spiked to $150 and these new fees came into play. YX was more or less a virtual airline once they started dropping the 717s as they didn't have their own aircraft or crews. Republic was doing all of their flying, so it was a natural fit for RJET to purchase YX. F9 went under after a recent history of poor management and the inability to garner people traveling on full fares. Again, problems that started long before the fees.

Skybus failed due to complete idiocy. They didn't really have the time to build up a frequent flyer base, and also had to pay for a brand-new airbus fleet, which is ridiculously expensive for a start-up. People that flew with them knew what they were getting into, and the group to which they catered tended to like their pricing structure. And, to make matters worse, they started right as oil prices began the rise up to their peak in 2008. They couldn't sustain operations with increasing variable costs when their fixed costs were set way to high for a new carrier with little investment funding. If I understand correctly, Hodge just thought that it would be a neat experiment and didn't have full confidence in the endeavor himself.


Not true. I live in Chicago and it's great.

While I do agree that service in Chicago and hub cities is pretty good with schedule options and whatnot, elsewhere the schedules are terrible. We only have a single rail line in Indianapolis so I don't use it much as the eastbound comes in at midnight and the westbound is at about 4:45 in the morning. 5.5 hours for a 175 mile trip to Chicago, no thanks.

High-speed rail, if it develops in Chicago, could potentially work very well. But there are many spots in the network that could have a large marketshare were they to offer reasonable timing right now. Granted, it's not too easy to reschedule times that trains arrive at a given spoke, but improvement is needed to get people to use it. Hopefully it's coming soon.

macbookairman
Apr 7, 2010, 05:06 PM
I'd rather the airlines actually charge the ticket price they need to and allow 1 bag/1 carry-on per person. However, to look good on the comparison sites, they play the "lower fare" game and tack on extra charges later.

This is squarely aimed at the non-business traveller who tries to not check baggage and carries the huge bag on that must be crammed into the overhad bin.

Somewhat unrelated, but I read this and immediately thought about how the app store is the exact same way. Developers sell their apps for free or for $0.99 to get in the top app charts, but then require a bunch of in app purchases to get the app fully functioning.

11800506
Apr 7, 2010, 05:24 PM
It seems inevitable that more airlines will start following a similar policy. I only hope that that doesn't turn out to be true. I think that the atmosphere on flights on some of the major airlines such as United have really started to decrease as a result of the excessive nickel and diming. While I understand that often times a lower fare will grab the discount customer, it's still very annoying that 1st checked bags are no longer included.

I just recently flew on JetBlue and it was a much nicer experience than my recent flights on United. Unfortunately, United operates its east-coast hub at Dulles and therefore, we fly most often on them and are part of MileagePlus.

bradl
Apr 8, 2010, 02:30 AM
What don't you believe? If it's the statement that they're looking into luggage fees, I'll find a link for you.


Please do. I'd be interested in seeing it.


The complete opposite, actually. The luggage fees have been a huge revenue booster. Continental is close to profitability and United got there quite a while ago. I haven't really been following the others, though their stocks have all performed extremely well as of late. Yeah, it's not the best indicator considering that they were undervalued for some time, but outlooks are pretty good right now.


Then why are both USA and UAL rumoured to be in merger talks (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125700891)? This isn't the first time they had talked about it, as UAL and USA were talking about it before AWE bought USA. Both are hurting right now, especially USA, as they shut down their hubs in CMH, PIT, and PHL, and just shut down LAS (though they still fly to all 4 destinations). SWA is now the biggest carrier at 3 of the 4 airports, and are doing well in UAL's hub at DEN. SWA has a knack for moving in when they smell blood, as they have with MSP (NWA being bought by DAL), MKE (MEP being bought by RPA), SFO (UAL in a bit of hurt), PIT (USA in a world of hurt before being bought by AWE), and LGA (SWA's codeshare with ATA helped here, though FFT being in a world of hurt was their target).


As for Frontier and Midwest, they failed for other reasons. Midwest has been struggling for a long time, probably since around 2005 before fuel prices spiked to $150 and these new fees came into play. YX was more or less a virtual airline once they started dropping the 717s as they didn't have their own aircraft or crews. Republic was doing all of their flying, so it was a natural fit for RJET to purchase YX. F9 went under after a recent history of poor management and the inability to garner people traveling on full fares. Again, problems that started long before the fees.


Keep in mind that SWA had the competing bid, though I'm glad RPA bought FFT. their E170s were a perfect compliment to FFT's A319s and a great replacement for MEP's B717s/MD90s.


Skybus failed due to complete idiocy. They didn't really have the time to build up a frequent flyer base, and also had to pay for a brand-new airbus fleet, which is ridiculously expensive for a start-up. People that flew with them knew what they were getting into, and the group to which they catered tended to like their pricing structure. And, to make matters worse, they started right as oil prices began the rise up to their peak in 2008. They couldn't sustain operations with increasing variable costs when their fixed costs were set way to high for a new carrier with little investment funding. If I understand correctly, Hodge just thought that it would be a neat experiment and didn't have full confidence in the endeavor himself.
[quote]

Nevertheless, it is the same model that NKS appears to be going towards, and seeing that it didn't work out well (oil prices notwithstanding), they could learn from that lesson.

[quote]
While I do agree that service in Chicago and hub cities is pretty good with schedule options and whatnot, elsewhere the schedules are terrible. We only have a single rail line in Indianapolis so I don't use it much as the eastbound comes in at midnight and the westbound is at about 4:45 in the morning. 5.5 hours for a 175 mile trip to Chicago, no thanks.

High-speed rail, if it develops in Chicago, could potentially work very well. But there are many spots in the network that could have a large marketshare were they to offer reasonable timing right now. Granted, it's not too easy to reschedule times that trains arrive at a given spoke, but improvement is needed to get people to use it. Hopefully it's coming soon.

They're talking about that again this side of the Rockies as well. Whether it comes to fruition in California is a good guess. There is talk of it between Los Angeles, the Central Valley (Fresno/Bakersfield/Visalia), and San Francisco, but nothing up towards the Sacramento area. (Sacramento already has the Capital Corridor, service between the Bay and Sacramento).

They are talking about a high speed rail line (read: bullet) between Los Angeles and Vegas as well. But other than that, there isn't much for rail between California and Omaha.

BL.

Rockin' Kat
Apr 8, 2010, 04:31 AM
Not a big fan of seeing the world, or even the country, eh?

I'd say it's more of an "I'm a student who doesn't make enough money or get any real time off to do anything other than spur of the moment trips either to Vancouver B.C. or Lincoln City, OR" kind of thing than a traveling the world sucks kind of thing.

If I had time, friends, and enough money saved up I'd consider doing what my sister did.... she and her friends drove South to California, then East to Louisiana, North to New York and then West back to Washington. A lot of the time they slept in the car to avoid spending money on lodging as well as staying with online friends. They brought back a lot of stories, photos, and shot glasses from every state they drove through... They were gone for three months.

(L)
Apr 8, 2010, 09:40 AM
You missed the big part here. The airlines created that problem with the clog bins the second they started charging fees for the first check bag. They are the ones who screwed themselves over.

I would rather they raise ticket prices and screw the fees. Fees cause more problems and hell I voted with my wallet and fly southwest when ever possible. Cheaper tickets, no fees and hell of a lot better customer service.

Nah, they should quit screwing travelers like me. I'm what doctors would say is a 'healthy' weight, pack minimally, and rarely have to use the overhead bins.

Airlines lose money because they don't place a surcharge on the now all-too-common too-fat-to-fly people. If everyone who flies would quit packing their homes into their bags and quit taking up 1.5 seats, it would be better for everyone. You may think it harsh for me to say this, but surely you'd admit that if I have to pay for my first checked bag, and the fellow next to me weighs more than me and all my bags combined, they should just nail him with the extra fees (incentive for self-disciplined eating!) and leave harmless travelers like me alone.

Or maybe one airline can just be the 'good' airline for appropriate weight, light-packing, well-behaved people. I would actually pay extra for that kind of discrimination.

Lord Blackadder
Apr 8, 2010, 01:04 PM
I don't fly much (maybe 3 times a year at most), so maybe I'm missing something, but I recently felw up to Alaska with Delta and did not have to pay for my checked luggage. In fact, Delta told me that I got two free checked bags up to 70lbs.

At any rate, I think that paying fees for carry-ons, checked bags, and the bathrooms is a travesty. I'm willing to pay more for a ticket if it means not being nickled and dimed to death for "services" that should be included as part of the flight.