Do you travel and fly a lot? If you do then you should know as much as you can about airlines and the services they offer. Where do you look for information about airlines? While you can count on them to provide you with the necessary information to a certain degree, there are certain things that they would not tell you. What are those things?
There are many things that airlines would rather not share with everyone, especially their passengers. To enlighten you to some degree, here are some of the
things that airlines would not tell you :
Ticket Prices Are Going Up
If you feel that the cost of air fare is going up then you are right. Ticket costs are going up and there is that trend will never stop. Airlines raise their prices and they do that without most people having any idea that it happens. Last year, the average cost of airline tickets was at $356. That’s 3.6% higher from the average price the year before. What’s even more alarming is the rate, according to which ticket prices are going up, is also increasing. From 2009 to 2012, ticket prices have increased by 24% and in the four years before that period, they have gone up by 16.4%.
Holiday ticket prices have become even costlier than regular air fare. Tickets that are bought on short notice are even more expensive than as compared with buying them ahead of time. If you want to save in air fare, it would be best to do some comparison first on the prices offered by travel sites and the airline themselves. You should also consider buying tickets months in advance to save on costs.
They Sell Seats Twice
Airlines have a practice of overbooking flights, so they can avoid the trouble of having empty seats on flights because of cancellations. The problem of course is that cancellations do not always happen and passengers end up being left in terminals while the plane, where they are supposed to have bought a seat on, is taking off. Unfortunately, this is a legitimate practice and airlines are allowed to do it.
Airlines are required to provide cash and other forms of compensation to bumped passengers. Authorities also claim that the number of bumped passengers represent only a small fraction of all air passengers in the country. But that is little consolation for those who are actually bumped. It can cause a great deal of inconvenience to people.
You Probably Won’t Get to Your Destination on Time
In the first ten months of 2013, about 20% of all flights arrived late. That’s almost one in every five flights. In the same period last year, the percentage was just 16%. By all accounts, the performance of airlines is declining. The major airlines are sometimes 45 minutes late. There are many reasons for the increase of flights delays. One of the reasons would be the high occurrence of bad weather conditions. Mechanical problems also cause a lot of delays.
You Pay for Your Baggage and They Might Lose it
Within the first ten months of 2013 more than 1.5 million passengers filed reports for mishandled baggage. The problem deals mainly with baggage that has not been delivered to the right flight. But what is particularly surprising is that even as cases of mishandled baggage are going up, the airlines are charging even more for passengers to check in their luggage. They charge more and they do not provide any guarantee that the baggage would be delivered on the same flight. Airlines can charge passengers anywhere from $15 to $100 to check in their baggage. These fees are justified by airlines by saying that those are needed to keep them going.
Carry-Ons Are Being Phased Out
With check in fees going up, more passengers stuff all of the things that they carry around during travel in their carry-ons. Those carry-ons can be brought by the passengers on the plane’s board with no additional cost. But it seems that the days of free carry-ons are numbered.
An increasing number of airlines do not charge for the carry-ons and the prices can vary widely. Those who pay for it when they book their flights would pay less, while those who pay before they board the plane would pay more.
Rewards Programs Are Not Very Rewarding
Many airlines rewarded their frequent fliers with many perks, especially during flight but it seems that those rewards are fast disappearing. It used to be that rewarded members were given the chance to upgrade to business class, but now those are only offered to passengers who are willing to pay extra. Some airlines have even implemented rules that would require them to pay a frequent-flier fee just to get the supposed rewards that are due to them.
You Have to Pay for a Good Seat
In the past, passengers could sit just about anywhere that they wanted to in coach. But airlines start to charge extra if you want to pick a seat anywhere except in the middle. It does not cost them anything if people chose their own seats there, yet they still charge people. The fees charged by airlines for the coach seating vary, but since there is no additional cost to them whether which coach seats are empty, then they make a lot of money for something that should be free.
Most major airlines also charge passengers who want seats that have more legroom. So, if you are not willing to get cramped in your seat then you would have to pay extra for that.
The Passengers Share the Cost of Fuel
As a passenger, you would assume that the cost of fuel for the airplane is not something that you would have to share or worry about. Unfortunately, the airlines do not tell you that somehow you share its cost as well. Apparently, the passengers share the burden of the fuel problems. When the cost of fuel rises, airlines raise the prices of tickets as well. Airlines adapt the cost of their fuel into their ticket prices at an increasing rate. The problem is aggravated by the fact that when one airline raises its cost, others would follow its path.
The airline industry says that fuel cost is the biggest part of their operational expenses and if they do not pass it on to passengers, then they would not survive.
Mergers Are Costing the Passengers
We hear about mergers of airlines all the time but we don’t usually think about it. As passengers we feel that it would have little or no effect on us. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The increase in mergers of airline means higher costs of air fare to passengers. Airlines defend the mergers by saying that it is one way for companies to deal with the changing market and that it is the only way to avoid going out of business. Still, that means problems for the passengers.
These are just some of the things that airlines do not tell you and which you should be aware of.