Over the past few years travelers have experienced increased fees for various reasons, 9/11 for one was a big contributor to increased airline fees. Others that have added to the mix are the high costs of fuel as well as the decrease in pleasure related travel. The airline industry, like many others, is a supply and demand business and must find ways to accommodate for added costs. These added fees can account for up to seven percent of an airline’s operating revenue according to an article posted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article also noted that five major airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and US Airways will not be charging customers for carry-on luggage like some other airlines will soon do. This even comes at the wake of financial losses for some of these companies. I suppose they have come to the realization that travelers will only take so much before “flying” to the competition.

What this all boils down to is understanding the value that a company provides for the cost. I know that when I travel I look at the costs to drive my decision making. This might change depending on the duration of the flight. A few years ago I had quite the fiasco with a trip to Cabo San Lucas that went from two short flights to three long flights. A person can really take the time to evaluate an airline when they spend all day flying! Some airlines provide movies, others don’t, some provide free in flight concessions, others charge an arm and a leg. Again, as someone who does not frequently travel I do not take this into as big of a consideration as someone who might travel weekly or daily for business. Airlines need to factor in what costs and amenities will drive a customers decision to move forward with a purchase in its favor or against it. This is certainly something that Spirit Airlines will be evaluating come August when the new fees go into effect.
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Jennifer Ulrich

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