If you fly American Airlines, and if you don’t want sit outside the plane on the wing, you may subject to an extra ‘seat fee’ in coach class.
Airlines have ‘earned’ billions by offering ‘a la carte’ services. American is about to help themselves to another $19 per flight for ‘choice seats’ in the first few rows in the cabin.
These fees are a very creative way to extract many charges for ‘optional’ things. The latest was dreamed up by some one reasoning that people are busy, busy people don’t like to wait to de-board a plane. Once they get where they are going, they want to get on with it. (ka-ching!)
Busy people (read: impatient people) could pay extra to be allowed to board and de-board the plane before other coach passengers, who would not be allowed to sit toward the front of the plane with the busy people who coughed up the 19 bucks.
This plan offers time efficiency, right?
Time is money, right?
American Airlines has agreed to save you time for the low, low price of $19 per ticket.
Really, this is not a bad idea…
Busy people will no longer be forced to feign injury, hearing impairment, visual impairment, nor would it be necessary to hire false families with small children to gain the pre-board privilege.
According to an article at cnn.com
Perhaps a valid strategy could be to buy an optional boarding pass allowing passengers to pay the fee, or not, regardless of where the passenger’s seat was within the cabin of the plane. That option is part of a new suite of unbundled services that American introduced in June called the Your Choice program.
Fees for Express Seats, which include bulkhead seats, are based on distance, starting at $19 for shorter distances up to $39 for a cross-country itinerary. Express Seats will be available only via the airport self-service check-in machines from 24 hours to 50 minutes before departure for flights in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
There are many more opportunities the airlines have kept ‘complimentary’, including:
- restroom use
- the physical use of the seat (both the seat and the seat back)
- barf baggies
- interior lighting
- auto pilot support in the cockpit
A Gilbert mom who traveled on Amerian Airlines last summer recalls a few revenue increasing opportunities for the airport and the airline she would recommend.
A personal TSA agent fee –
For a set dollar amount, you could make a reservation for a personal TSA agent to meet you at your car, perform scans, luggage checks, carry-on checks, and checks for any sharp items that threaten the safety of the flight crew (eyebrow tweezers, tooth picks, plastic sewing kit scissors), all while running to meet the plane.
Wouldn’t that be terrific?
Also recommended is the “bring the plane back to the gate – and let me board” fee-
This would be a unique feature for the passengers who didn’t spring for the personal TSA agent, instead spending 3 days in the TSA line.
The option of those wing seats may not be too far off – and – the airlines would probably offer up the bugs ingested in-flight as a free meal.
Tracy Lynn Cook
Sources: cnn.com, photobucket.com