In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Sandra Parker decides to cancel her flight to Florida on Spirit Airlines. She knows her $80 flights aren’t refundable. But what about the $160 prepaid baggage fees? “I canceled my Spirit Airlines flight. Can I get a refund for my prepaid baggage?”
Airlines sure do love their fees, don’t they?
A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that domestic air carriers collected $7.1 billion in revenue from checked-bag and changed-reservations fees last year. The extra charges are helping the industry earn record profits. “As airline revenue from extra fees increases, so does consumer ire”
When the Transportation Department (DOT) announced new “enhanced” protections for air travelers last week, the reaction was predictable. Airlines complained loudly that they were being re-regulated. Consumer groups offered a collective eye-roll, grumbling that it wasn’t enough. And the government cheerfully congratulated itself. “New DOT initiatives target airlines’ baggage fees and price transparency. Are they enough?”
Check this out: The latest luggage fee numbers, as reported by the federal government, show that the major airlines are collecting less for our checked suitcases. They haven’t returned to the early 2007 levels, which were still pretty reasonable, but well off the highs reached in the second and third quarter of 2010.
What’s going on?
“What the #$&! is going on with airline baggage fees?”
What does “You get what you pay for” mean?
I ask because a post earlier this week ended with airline pilot/analyst Bob Herbst concluding, “Sometimes the old cliché: ‘You get what you pay for’ has true meaning.”
To which I said, “Truer words were never spoken.”
It turns out we probably meant different things. Let me explain.
“You get what you pay for revisited — oops, there goes my journalistic objectivity”