2013 will bring many changes to the airline industry including new fees, higher fares, better technology, better entertainment, etc. Check back each week for a different airline trend you can expect to see this year!
Airlines are taking a different approach to fees this year. Instead of separate baggage, cancellation, or on-board meal fees, they are bundling their fees to create customer packages. In the past, most airlines were unbundling their fees and making customers pay separate amounts for meals, a better seat, etc. Now they are “re-bundling” and giving the customer one price for all of their needs.
American Airlines introduced customer packages for round-trip flights. Their Choice Essential package costs $68 extra for a round-trip fare. With this package you receive one checked-bag, group 1 boarding, and no-change fee. This offers protection from the $150 change fee and the perks of a free checked bag and priority boarding!
Choice Plus costs $88 extra for a round-trip fare and includes everything from the Choice Essential package plus 50% AAdvantage mileage bonus, same-day flight change, same-day standby, and an onboard premium beverage.
They also still offer the Choice package, which is the lowest fare and does not include any additional products unless you pay separately for them.
Southwest Airlines, known for no baggage fees and great customer service, is now adding a no-show fee for customers who do not cancel their flight if they are not going to show up. Southwest is still not charging for a cancellation so they are still one of the best airlines for fees (in my opinion of course).
Airlines have been depending more and more on fees for an increase in revenue so do not expect to see these extra fees go away anytime soon.