American Airlines started it and then came in United Airlines and US Airways. Now Northwest Airlines is going to charge to charge for first checked bag.
Well, my first reaction – “It is stupid! Now I don’t just pay for the ticket but for my food, drink and my BAGS???. If it is just $15 you want, then why don’t you just raise the air fare by $15 and let me be free of all the trouble????”
Some sense to it -
- Air Travel is now a Commodity – Air travel for a good time was expensive and hence was classified as a luxury. A luxurious product comes with extras like a BMW might come with 4 year free maintenance, warranty, leather seats and other options with the sticker price. Now the industry has become a commodity where you find the cheapest ticket to fly from A to B (or even C if it is close to B). It is same as buying milk, rice or mints where normally you would go for the cheapest.
- Cost of flying a bag – The cost of flying a bag includes – the air fare of my bag, cost of carrying it from the front counter to the big TSA machines (EDS machines), from the TSA machine to the belly of the flight, and if I am connecting, then transporting it to one flight to another and last transporting it from the plane to the carousal. And if the airline misses loading the bag on one of my flights then it also includes the price of getting it delivered to my address. Don’t you think that your bag is getting more service by the airline then you do and you didn’t even pay for it????
- If I don’t check-in one, I pay for other passenger’s bags – Should I be paying for a service that someone else uses? It is like going to a restaurant and being a teetotaler paying $10 towards the expensive wine on the table next to him. Every pound of increase in weight on an airplane makes it burn more gas hence costs more. The revenue management at airlines will try to make sure that to make the flight profitable, they will keep the total price of tickets charge for all the expected weight.
- Fly Light – Does every person require a large size bag of 10 pairs of clothes? The free bag check-in policy has spoiled us all. Can’t we all fit in 3-4 pairs of clothes in a carry-on bag? Jackets can be worn.
- What about my vacation plan? – I do understand the reasoning for people complaining about the fee while going on vacation, but you are already spending on $$$ on hotels, rental cars, tours, food, etc so overall the $15 per bag is a small expense compared to rest.
- We like to fly – I would rather have all the airlines survive this oil price, then them to go bankrupt, since any bankruptcy means reduction in capacity means even higher air fare prices.
Sorry state of Airlines as compared to BIG oil companies -
- Oil from $60 to $145 a barrel- Oil Companies raised the gas price from $2 to $4.5 (125% increase), Airlines raised the average airfares by 10-35%
- Net Income for the biggest in 1st Quarter 08 – Exxon Mobil: +$11 billion and American Airlines (AMR Corp): -$328 million
- CEO Compensations for the biggest 2007 – Exxon Mobil’s Rex Tillerson: $21.7 million and American Airlines’ Gerard Arpey: $6.6 million