There’s a headline out today that screams, “Airlines Say Fee Boost Considered by Obama Would Raise Fares, Hurt Demand“. I went into it with a clear mind wondering what all this would entail. So, reading the article, I thought the proposal must be ungodly.
Yes, the airlines and the ATA are up in arms because there’s a proposal – that’s not even a proposal yet, because it’s not yet been proposed – to raise the fee from $4.50 per segment to $7. Seriously? You people are whacked. Even a full 4 segment round-trip fare would only go up a maximum of $10. Who in the hell looks at a $210 fare and goes, “I’d pay $200, but I won’t pay $210.” Is that really such a problem? The public isn’t going to scream, “I’m not paying that extra $5 or $10 for my vacation, because I want to spend it on a latte.”
As a business traveler that travels a MINIMUM of 40 weeks per year – usually around 50 – I wouldn’t even notice the extra $400 per year. And honestly, your average family of four that gets one week a year to travel who regularly pays $1,000 for four round trip tickets isn’t going to balk at $1040, either. They’ll probably balk at the extra $20, $25, $50 or $75 (per bag – each way) fee that the airlines have used to make absolute billions over the last couple of years. But balk at $10? Screw that.
And if airlines want to reduce their expenditures, how about starting with stopping the lobbying? Go to Google and input “Airlines spend lobbying” and you’ll see figures like $660,000 or $1,470,000 for one airline alone. For one quarter of one year. Yeah, I have absolutely no compassion for the airlines balking at this.