Last friday, I was on a flight to Houston and the add-ons are killing me. Let me explain!
I started out in Minneapolis and right away was saddled with the extra charges for the baggage, $15.00 for the first bag and more for the 2nd. OK- I can swallow that and call it an add on to the cost of my ticket. I’m told that this is how the airlines make a profit in todays world. The next reduction tactic was the replacement of the airline meal with a scant bag of pretzels. No snack meals are available to even buy on this flight. But to even out this reduction they offer FREE coffee at the terminal. This is a far cry from an even exchange of services.
Now comes the upgrade for a decent seat. I’m a relatively tall 6 foot 4 inch male that needs a lot more room than what a child needs to be comfortable for that privilege I have to pay $49.00. Next I get thirsty – wow! we get a soft drink (2 ounces because of a glass full of ice) to wash down the pretzels. Of course a $6.00 add on charge exists for a stronger beverage. This flight has hit the big time and now offers in flight wifi of course a slight charge of $6 to $12.00 for using it. Next in the line of offering incentives comes the benefits of owning an airline credit card. They must pay a commission to all the stewards that can solicit the passengers and get them signed up for this benefit. When I was a kid we always were rewarded at the movies with a cartoon. Now we can’t even watch an in-flight movie with out using my credit card. I suppose that in the future we will have to put up with, a pay toilet on board and maybe a service charge for air conditioning. There really isn’t much left to take away and try to disguise these as a list of benefits.
Oh, I forgot to mention that my bags were not at my destination when I got to Houston. Was I charged to have by bags brought to my hotel? I guess that remains to be seen. I certainly expect to have another add-on assessed.
At this point I won’t even comment on the process of booking a flight. Yes that involves an add-on charge as well. If you want to talk to a live person to book your flight, figure on an add-on charge. One last bit of advice–don’t try to change your ticket to a different time or flight because you guessed it–you will get an add-on charge.
It’s a different world we live in today and it is hard to get used to the new requirements to travel. Can’t say it is fun anymore.
As aggravated as I get when I am subjected to these add-ons, I have to remember to NOT apply these same add-on policies to my own business. I think our customers appreciate being able to purchase a product without the hassle and frustration attached to receiving reduced benefits and lack of customer service.