Friday, November 20, 2015

Airlines pile on new fees and even more charges lie ahead, experts say

Awhile back I was mentioning how airline profits have soared in the past year.  In fact for some airlines, like Canada's no 1 and 2... record profits.

Jets have become more efficient over the years, more economical to operate, more reliable contributing to lowered running costs. Seat spacing has become almost ludicrous, even for a little guy like me.  Pity anyone taller than 5' 6".  If the passenger in front reclines his/her seat, your tray will be in your lap, not to mention trying to get out for a pee break if you're seated in the window or middle!  Even toilets have been reduced or in some cases a single facility for all coach passengers!

One of the BIGGEST boons to airlines is the additional charges we are now subject to.  Food is an extra cost option, ear buds ditto.  If you want 'premium' viewing, or wi-fi use, extra.  If you would like a different seat prior to departure, extra.  If you would like priority boarding, multi levels extra.  Got a suitcase to check, you guessed it, extra.  Two bags, extra.

I joked at the time that pretty soon airlines will explore standing room err... seating or is that standing?  Lo and behold a few months later I see just such a proposal for short haul flights within China, where as patrons are packed in like proverbial sardines in a tin can!  I can see this being a possibility for flights within Europe for example.

Probably the biggest bonus to profits has been reduced fuel costs.  Do  you remember about a decade ago we were being charged a 'fuel surcharge' to fly.  That was when fuel costs were substantially higher.  Then there was the additional security costs to pay supposedly for the higher security measures.

Ticket prices began climbing as all these extra costs were being tacked on.  I certainly notice the difference flying this past few years.  Since fuel prices dropped over the past couple of years, I haven't seen a reduction in ticket prices, in fact they've been steadily increasing.

I wonder when we'll be charged for using an oxygen mask if the need were to arise.  Imagine this coming over your in flight speakers if the plane experiences a sudden decompression;

"Sorry to interrupt your program... we are experience a problem, please insert your approved credit card into the seat back reader to activate your flow of oxygen.  Unfortunately we can only take M/C, VISA or AMMEX at this time, cash will not be accepted, thank you from your flight crew..."

All these changes add up to higher pricing, less comfort and unless you bring your own snack, or have a credit card, a rumbling belly.

Of course if you don't fly, all these things are non-existent for you.  However I do, and I'm protesting in my little way by shouting out loud, "I won't stand for it anymore."

Get it... "won't stand..."

Have a nice day :)

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