No Relief in Sight for Sky-High Airline Fees
In just the form of extra charges and fees, airlines in the United States have added billions of dollars of revenue to their pockets over the past few years. The practice of adding surcharges and fees to every non-essential aspect of air travel has become a major aspect of the industry.
Baggage fees alone have seen a tremendous rise, from $464 million in 2007 up to a staggering $3.4 billion in 2013. For reservation changes and cancellation fees, the revenue has gone from $913 million in 2007 to $2.8 billion in 2013. Early numbers from 2014 indicate that these numbers have only continued to rise. However, the cost of airfare has decreased 13.9 percent. In 1995 the average cost of a domestic flight was $292. In 2014, that number was $391. But with inflation comes the real-money savings in overall ticket price.
Unfortunately, that price does not factor in newly-added surcharges and fees for services that were once accepted with the price of a ticket. Even with added fees it is likely that the cost of flying has not increased much over the past two decades. Yet, while the total cost of flying may not have increased for travelers, the level of customer dissatisfaction at being charged for these fees certainly has.
With airlines discussing the possibility of charging for currently-complimentary non-alcoholic beverages on flights, there appears to be no end in sight on what airlines will begin charging customers for.