Travelling can be costly for those who don’t properly prepare. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, everyone must take into account any fees that aren’t immediately mentioned when shopping around for plane tickets or hotels. Unfortunately, not everyone does their due diligence finding airfare, and it appears airline companies are capitalizing on this.
After the Transportation Dept. reported airline companies made $4.3 billion this year through bag checks and ticket changes, there were many who found this to be an inaccurate representation of how the monies were actually obtained. In a USA Today article, Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey claimed that much of the $4.3 billion reported were through fees that weren’t disclosed properly and cost flyers extra and at a time when passengers could not make adjustments.
We’ve documented how the airline industry has struggled and needs to do everything possible financially to recover and become the leader in aviation travel it once was. However, it should not come at the expense of positive business practices. There are many travelers who are only able to travel once or twice a year, and some less than that. With these discouraging tactics to line their pockets, airlines risk alienating passengers, losing business through word of mouth by spurned consumers, and ultimately hurting the industry by scaring away the “infrequent flyers”.
Transparency is necessary in all forms of business, whether it’s green practices, a manufacturing process, or all fees applied to taking a trip. Everyone should have the right to know how something is made or where their money goes. Being a commodity that is required by many does not give airlines the right to charge fees at their whim. Until they can make clear how and why every fee is charged, there may be more bad times than good in the future for airline companies.