Firstly, my apologies for the lack of posts this week. It’s been one hell of a week in the real world – and it might lead to a few new articles here about IT security and keeping yourself secure on the road.
If there any further sign that airlines want to milk more money out of you, lets turn our heads to United Airlines very own Jeff Smisek, who according to Reuters has been speaking out about the drawdown of free things like checked bags.
The article states that people are forgetting airlines are businesses, and if they want more, they have to pay more.
So don’t expect things like free checked bags, extra space seats to be offered for no cost in the future.
There are of course ways around some of the fees, but is all this penny-pinching good for the passenger experience in the long run?
I’d argue no. If United wants to act like a low-cost carrier, it should get on with the job of doing it properly and let consumers know it’s that sort of airline” from now onwards.
Unbundling services may seem like an easy way to say “pay for what you use”, but in the real world some people can’t just travel with a rollaboard and have elite frequent flyer status (or a credit card branded by the airline), and in the end – will wind up paying fees for things that they expected to be free in the past.
Certainly, from a casual passenger viewpoint, if fees are being charged – it’s less likely you’d consider that carrier again (and I bundle most of the “legacy” airlines that have been unbundling their fares like no tomorrow in this argument – so even big airlines like KLM, British Airways, American Airlines, Lufthansa and so on fall into this trap), and would be viewed by some travellers as “penny-pinching” (or to use the American term “Nickle-and-Dime” every transaction).
“Free” (or if we want to be more precise) “Pre-bundled” is a powerful selling tool if used right.
If United wants to stand out and be a quality carrier that is open too all its customers, it may want to look at re-bundling some of its products.
United has been touting its <whatever>-Friendly thing for some time now, putting a “friendly” face on for passengers….
United Hub – Friendly Screenshot – https://hub.united.com/en-us/flyerfriendly/Pages/default.aspx
Charging for everything in a penny-pinching way doesn’t seem friendly does it?
It seems that Friendly – like truth, beauty and many other things – is in the eye of the beholder.
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