Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pay per use toilets next?

The airline industry in the US earned over $4B in fees from "extras" last year. I realized where this was coming from when I was traveling with the country a couple of weeks ago. The industry claims that it is simplifying the fare structure by unbundling various amenities that were included in the fares. This gives greater flexibility to customers who can pick and choose the services they want in proportion to the fare they want to pay.

We all know that we had to pay for peanuts and soft drinks. But now, there are fees for check-in baggage, pre-boarding (yes, for an extra $10, you can board early), headsets and premium seats (nope - these are not bigger seats with more space. Some of the regular seats are now designated as premium seats, such as ALL window and aisle seats!). It's a pretty creative pricing structure and the possibilities are endless. Consider the following possibilities:

1. Choice of passenger sitting next to you: $20
2. Experience level of pilot: $75
3. Watch the in-flight movie: $5
4. Watch the final 10 minutes of the in-flight movie: $25
5. Newspaper: $5
6. Water: $5
7. Cold Water: $10
8. Pillow: $5
9. Reading light: $5
10. Usage of toilet: $10

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