Recently I just returned from a ten day business trip on which I had the got quite acquainted with airports, fees, customs and everything else in between. Essentially airports became my second home, outside of the hotel rooms. Despite a pretty smooth trip overall, I had the pleasure of paying $25 to check my bag. Three different airports, three different starting points , three different airline companies and finally $75 less in my wallet.
Generally speaking, I try to be positive about things. I also don’t mind paying more for quality service, and I can confidently say that I’m anything but cheap. Frugal, that’s my middle name, but never cheap.
I do have beef with having to pay $25 extra to check my luggage bag at the airport. This trip I was out an extra $75 due to the mandatory bag check-in charges of US Airlines, United Airlines and Air Canada. Generally speaking, maybe you do enjoy paying the extra fee, feel sorry for the airlines, but I don’t enjoy paying the extra fee, the quick cash grab or having my luggage tossed like a sack of potatoes.
Charging fliers to check their luggage is old news. Air Canada is introduced new rules around checked baggage on flights between Canada and the United States back in October of 2011. Air Canada called it something like being “consistent with the baggage policies of other major carriers.” Much like that saying, monkey see, monkey do. I think American Airlines introduced this policy and eventually 90 percent of the airline companies followed suit.
Trying to be understanding.
I get it or at least I’m trying to be understanding. Airlines are getting slaughtered in business. Sales and revenue are nowhere near what it used to be. Than again, air travel as a whole is nowhere where it once was. No one was able to predict how “911″ would change air travel forever. I also understand that there are a lot of businesses still reeling from the 2008 recession. I get it, times are tough, especially if you’re in the airline industry.
High fuel costs are a concern, but the airline operators continue to exceed their sales/revenue goals for each quarter, which is primarily driven by higher fares and fuel surcharges.
Despite an increase in fares, extra fuel charges, we should be okay with paying an additional $25 per every bag we check on our flight? I’m not cool with it. I suppose car rental agencies, bus travel agencies and train travel services are next in line to start charging us for our baggage.
So, What’s Next?
I think next on the agenda is a charge for carry on luggage, or maybe limiting certain amount of weight for all carry-on luggage, so even if you don’t pay for carry on luggage, you’ll surely make up for it for the extra weight due to a tight limit.
Maybe they’ll even start charging to use the toilets. I can’t wait for that one! Cash only, so extra fees don’t have to be paid to the credit providers for all the customers that want to use their credit-card. Toilet tissue is an extra at 50 cents per five sheets.
In a bad economy and tight times that we’re in today, I’m not interested in quick cash grabs. There are other ways to increase sales, reap the maximum revenue and still keep attracting customers. Oddly enough, even when this move was introduced months ago, I still can’t figure out on how it benefits the customer. Rather than standing out by being different, these airlines (not all of them) are becoming the same by following one another.
Currently the only two airlines that don’t charge to check bags are Porter and West Jet. Furthermore, they offer top notch service in flight and on ground. And to all those airline companies, such as Air Canada, baggage fee is yet another policy that causes people to look elsewhere. Eventually these airlines will lose more than they gain, and when times get tough again, taxpayers will be there for the bailout.
I’d actually prefer to pay for the use of the toilet and toilet paper in flight. At least I have the option of using the damn thing or not, versus no option with checking bags. Paying a buck to use the toilet is much cheaper and my buck goes a long way, because when I’m done, at least I feel good inside.
Note to Readers:
- I did get reimbursed by my employer for the baggage fees, but never the less it’s still a cash grab, in my case by Air Canada, US Airlines and United Airlines.
- If you’re looking to compare different prices for checking bags, check out this website called Airfare Watch Dog , they offer the latest on the airline industry.