Post by Jeff Hacker
Personally, I'm a fan of some form of bundling.
Take a look at Air Canada, which offers five fare bands, three coach
and two biz, with different bundles of stuff. Some of the stuff the
lower bands leave out can be bought back, e.g., if you want advance
seat selection on the lowest fare, that's another $15. It seems to
work pretty well. Notably, everyone gets at least two free checked
bags, so that's one issue off the table.
Conversely, look at Ryanair, the worlds most annoying airline, in
which everything, and I mean everything, is extra. Say I want to fly
from London to Spain, look at the web site, wow the fare is only £5
out and £9.99 coming back. Oh, wait there's £22.57 taxes and fees and
a £5 web checkin fee, but it's still only £42.56, which is still quite
cheap for a trip that's a 2.5 hr flight each way. Oh, wait, if you
want to check any baggage (keeping in mind that they are utterly
inflexible about their briefcase sized carryon limit) that's £30 for
the first bag, £70 for the second, so we'll make do with one. Do you
want to go to the front of the line for the race to the plane, which
is the only way to reliably score an exit or bulkhead seat with decent
knee room? That's £6. Now we're up to £78.56, still pretty decent.
OK, ready to pay. That will be an extra £10 payment fee if you pay
any way other than with an obscure Visa Electron debit card, total
£88.56. That's STILL dirt cheap for a flight that's 860mi each way,
about the same as BOS-ORD, but, man, what a pain. Don't forget to
print your boarding pass at home, because it'll cost you, a lot, if
you need to get it at the airport. Nonetheless, way more people fly
Ryanair than BA, because they fly on time and never lose the bags you
paid so much to check.
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