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A Fee For Overhead Bin Space?

7 Jan

Tired of flying on airplanes yet? Well, it could get even more annoying. Currently, the world’s airline industry offers 19 à la carte fees and services to customers.  Those combined sources of revenue, which vary widely depending on the airline and location, account for more than 35 percent of the industry’s revenue and could bring in more than $22 billion annually.

They want more.  Rather than raising fares, the airlines continue to explore new potential fees to charge customers. Among the possible things services to charge for:

1) Overhead Bin Space: Though most airlines claim they will not follow the lead of Spirit Airlines, which charges a fee to put bags overhead, the possibility remains open. Preferred seating plans lead to a de facto charge for bin space.

2) Checking Bags Internationally: Most airlines currently allow customers to check one bag free of charge on international flights. As the price of oil rises to close to $90 a barrel, though, a charge to check bags overseas seems logical.

3) Infant Fees: Babies and infants currently fly free of charge, but the airlines are considering a fee for them too.

4) Talking to Someone: Airlines are pushing more aggressively for customers to check-in online to save on staffing costs. Yet, some people still resist. The solution: charge people to speak with someone at the airport or over the phone.

While none of these fees are at risk of going into effect soon, they are all being actively considered.

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