Flying Today: More Giant Swirly Than Wonderful Experience
By and large, the American airline passenger nearly detests the experience of flying in the 21st century. Forever gone are the days when flying and a luxury experience were nearly synonymous.
It is my opinion that the American buying public is perhaps just as responsible for this as the airlines. You see, when the buying public makes price their primary motive in deciding which airline to fly, then ultimately the industry will be forced to commoditize their offerings and essentially all sell you the very same seat.
Sure, they come in different colors, and even some with humorous and singing flight attendants; but at the end of the day, we’re all flying in the same winged tube and sitting in the very same seats.
Flying today feels more like a giant swirly than a wonderful experience!
In response to this ultimate crush to the bottom line of every airline, the industry has taken a cue from the 1980s auto industry. If you can’t make a living in the selling of the car, then create ancillary incomes by selling rustproofing, extended warranties, etc, etc,.
Ancillary airline revenues have more than doubled over the past four years as airlines have begun to break apart nearly every part of the flying experience and sell it back to us on top of the low, low price demanded by the public.
Now days, we’re seeing ancillary fees for baggage, carry-on baggage, first-in-line boarding, aisles seats, window seats, bulkhead seats, new economy-plus seating, onboard sales of food and beverages, call center support, priority check-in and screening, onboard entertainment, wireless Internet, and much more.
According to the recently released 2013 IdeaWorksCompany CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue, airline ancillary revenues reached $27 billion in 2012 with 10 airlines raking in nearly 70% of the ancillary fee booty.
Trust me, when the industry sees United and Delta raking in a combined $7.8 billion in ancillary revenues, there are certain to be a lot of airline execs lining up for the next “how to raise your airline ancillary fee income” conference.
I don’t know, the whole process feels more like a giant swirly than a courteous, convenient, and comfortable service.
How ’bout you? Are you happy with the direction the airlines are headed? Sound off in our comments section below.
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