Tuesday, April 13, 2010

airline fees to watch out for

i don't know if you guys heard of this yet, but florida-based spirit airlines is now charging USD 20-45 for carry-on luggage.

yep, that's carry-on, and not checked baggage, which means for passengers of spirit, gone are the days when you can exercise your mad packing skillz to fit everything in a tiny bag just so you don't have to pay for luggage when you travel.

the airline says they are charging this fee to improve safety and inefficiency, and in a way, i do see their point. bob thompson here echoes my sentiments, albeit in a more intense manner than i could ever muster:

while i wouldn't say it in the same way he did, i see his point. i've seen just how disruptive those "morons" are, and they are present in every flight i've ever gone on, and probably every flight you've been on as well. they get away with bringing a lot of stuff on board, while you, the diligent passenger, did your best to make all your things fit in your tiny bag. spirit airlines' reaction may be a tad too extreme, but i'm sure it will improve boarding efficiency, and will definitely lessen the load onboard.

however, i think they could have gone through a few other measures before settling for charging passengers a carry-on fee. i liked easyJet's way of measuring whether your carry-on can be brought on board or not: they have a little stand at the end of check-in counters with a container that has the correct dimensions for carry-ons. all you need to do is place your bag there, and if it fits, you can take it. doesn't matter how heavy it is, all they need to know is that it will fit in the overhead compartment.

another budget airline is setting the stage for yet another outrageous charging scheme. that oh-so-famous european budget airline ryanair is contemplating charging passengers for use of the lavatory for flights lasting an hour or less.

i can't resist quoting the following lines from the article:

The carrier said it is working with Boeing to develop a coin-operated door release so that when nature calls, passengers would need to deposit the change before being able to use the facilities.

The idea is to encourage people to use restrooms in airport terminals before boarding, Ryanair said. If the airline were to proceed, the changes would be at least 12 to 18 months away.

As part of the plan, the airline is also considering removing two of the three lavatories on some of its planes so it could squeeze in up to six extra seats. The move would help reduce fares by at least 5 percent, Ryanair said.

i, for one, find the lavatory fee a little too extreme. i actually shouldn't be that bothered, because i don't go to the restroom a lot, much less on board planes, but let's not take budget traveling to the extreme and charge "natural urges" a standard fee as well.

i'm updating you on these because these airline fees might reach our shores as well. at the moment, budget airlines have only taken out inflight meals and have retained standard services such as seating assignments. i wonder if any of our budget airlines will implement any of these schemes, and how pinoy travelers will react to these airline fees.


The K After Tomorrow said...

they're (airline companies) are REALLY making up for their so-called "low-cost" fares, eh?


but we still fly anyway.

Anonymous said...

nabasa ko rin yang sa ryanair. hilarious. - zane

i gotta go! said...

the k after tomorrow: yeah. unfortunately for us, we don't have any other choice, especially if we're on a budget. :(

zane: grabe, no?