Ancillary Airline Fees: Give thanks for small favors, we could be in China

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IdeaWorks and Amadeus have researched the financial filings made by 104 airlines all over the world to identify examples of ancillary revenue.

In 2007, only 23 airlines worldwide disclosed ancillary revenue activity – – a modest result of $2.45 billion.  The world has changed dramatically in four years with 47 carriers disclosing 2010 ancillary revenue activity of $21.46 billion.  This represents ancillary revenue growth of 38% over 2009 and 96% since 2008.
Travel consultant Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks, has identified 35 add-ons, from standard charges such as baggage and food fees to more exotic options like flight-delay insurance — or how about a fee to keep the middle seat next to you empty?

Truly it could be worse.  We could be in China, flying on Spring Airlines.

Spring Airlines, our friendly airline out of China, figures it can cut 20% of their costs while allowing room for 40% more passengers if they sell standing-room only tickets to passengers. The plan literally calls for passengers to be offered a sort of stool to perch on with a seat belt around their waist. If it’s not making sense to you, try this explanation on for size: The president of Spring Airlines compared the experience to “catching a bus, with no seat, no luggage consignment, no food, no water.” Wow.

Actually, that story was from 2009, so I’m hoping that if I have any airlines reading my blog, that they don’t get any ideas……

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