Dreaming Up Future New Airline Travel Fees

Federal information shows that U.S. airlines collected more than $6 billion from fees in the first nine months of 2010. That’s a whole lot of cash. It looks like oil & gas prices are going higher in 2011, so you know airline executives are in their meetings dreaming up new fees right now.  Bastards.

So what will these new future airline fees be?  I’m sure airline accounting types are thinking up new ones, or reviewing other airlines’ fees to see what they may be able to incorporate.  Fees such as …

  • Other airlines may try to incorporate Sprint Airlines’ carry-on bag fee of $45 for luggage that doesn’t fit under your seat.  I can just see the customer revolt now.  In fact, we may have stewardesses going ape-shit everyday ala that Jetblue guy last year if they have to try and collect this fee.
  • Ireland’s Ryanair sticks moms with a ~$30 fee each way to fly with a baby on their lap.  And you thought being a mom was rewarding, this baby airline fee says otherwise.
  • A lot of foreign airlines charge to pay for your airline tickets with a credit card.  I think the credit card airline fee is a long shot in the U.S. for all credit cards.  The reason?  Some airlines make more money off of their revenue share with their branded credit card provider than they do actually flying the plane.  It’s in the airlines’ best interest to get their passengers with branded credit cards in the habit of using those cards.  Or, I could see for example Delta charging the credit card fee for everyone using a credit card other than their partner American Express’ cards.
  • In-person check-in fee is a charge to check in with an airline employee instead of checking in online or at a kiosk at the airport.  This could happen as well, and it seems one of the more fair fees as most airlines have kiosks that can be used to check in.  A lot of times the computer kiosk is more friendly than the check-in human as well.  But, would this be a double whammy for passengers as they use a human to check in because they need to check bags?
  • Lock-in fare fee is a charge to lock your fare for three to seven days while you consider buying a ticket. Continental Airlines is testing this as of December.  Some European airlines alreadycharge for this fare price insurance.

When will customer marketing and service finally make a come-back in the airline industry?

What fees do you think airlines will try to force on us in the future?  Please leave a comment.

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