Airlines Getting Ready to Charge for Oversized Carry-On Baggage?
Just last month, The Gate posted about Spirit Airlines increasing its fees for carry-on baggage to as much as $200.00 round-trip — but now it appears that the major legacy airlines in the United States are considering charging fees to discourage passengers from carrying oversized baggage aboard aircraft.
I have mixed thoughts about this. For one thing, I am all for airlines charging fees for oversized baggage brought aboard aircraft. Oversized carry-on baggage does nothing but waste time for other passengers boarding the aircraft, as well as take up valuable space unnecessarily that could be used by one or more fellow passengers.
It is irritating to want to deplane quickly once the flight is finished, only to be blocked by some inconsiderate passenger who feels entitled to take as much time as necessary in the attempt to extricate that oversized bag from the overhead bin — although I wonder how that bag was stuffed in there in the first place. This is similar to that annoying fly that somehow found its way into your home but cannot figure out how to leave as it buzzes against the pane of the window trying to escape.
On the other hand, would this be a foray towards what Spirit Airlines is currently doing as per its policy to charge for any luggage which cannot fit under the seat in front of you? Could other airlines use the acceptance of oversized baggage fees as an apathetic and placid approval by passengers towards implementing further fees on its customers for carry-on luggage?
On a related note, Delta Air Lines apparently wants to earn $1,000,000,000.00 per year in new fees. You read that correctly — one billion dollars in new fees, as it already collected in 2011 an industry-leading $767 million in reservation cancellation and change fees, and another $863 million in baggage fees, according to TIME magazine.
This trend of charging ancillary fees is not going away anytime soon — I can assure you, to say the least.
Tell you what, airline executives: I will propose a deal. You go ahead and charge those fees for that oversized bag that a passenger attempts to carry on. In fact, go ahead and have it as exorbitant as you like — say, $300.00? Are you salivating and rubbing your hands just thinking about the potential profits from this fee?
There is one catch: in exchange, have the first checked bag free of charge for all passengers, regardless of class of service or elite status. Believe me, you will still profit for two reasons: one is that the carry-on fee can be as astronomical as you like, and the other is that there will always be someone who either is ignorant of the policy or feels that he or she is too important to have the fee levied on them who will carry that oversized bag aboard the aircraft anyway, upon which you can zing them with that proposed fee.
What do you think?