It didn’t take the latest string of viral videos to convince Cynthia O’Leary. There was no need to see the near-riot at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport or the passengers brawling on a flight at Burbank Bob Hope Airport. “Will the rash of recent viral videos have a lasting impact on airline regulation?”
When the Transportation Department (DOT) announced new “enhanced” protections for air travelers last week, the reaction was predictable. Airlines complained loudly that they were being re-regulated. Consumer groups offered a collective eye-roll, grumbling that it wasn’t enough. And the government cheerfully congratulated itself. “New DOT initiatives target airlines’ baggage fees and price transparency. Are they enough?”
Kendra Thornton is an unlikely candidate for government aid, but when Frontier Airlines recently denied her a seat on a flight from Chicago to Denver, that’s exactly what she got.
“As airline complaints soar, the government comes to the rescue”
It was the kind of article I could have written. I should have written.
It detailed how airlines, flush with record earnings, are spending like pirates to make their elites feel extra special — while at the same time removing space from the passengers in steerage. “Excuse me, I think I’m going to vomit”
Hold on to your wallet. North America’s airlines will charge almost $11 billion in so-called a la carte fees for everything from seat reservations to luggage this year — a 24 percent increase over what was collected in 2014.
“Why airlines will make $11 billion from fees this year”
Airlines do it by quietly restricting the terms on their tickets. Cruise lines resort to good old-fashioned salesmanship. And the entire travel industry does it better, thanks to sophisticated software.
It’s called the “upsell” — and yes, it’s completely out of control.