Everyday millions of people travel to destinations all over the world. Prior to stepping foot on the plane, many prepare for their journey by packing their bag(s), securing transport to the airport, and ensuring they have all the required documents for passage onto the plane and in some cases into the country of destination. In the last 18 years consumers have seen the elimination of amenities such as meal service on domestic flights, less space between seats, charging for checked baggage, etc.
Have you ever thought, why are airlines making changes that do not focus on improving the customer experience? For example, airlines have been charging for checked baggage since 2001. The standard weight requirement is pretty standard (still check with your airline) across all airlines (50 lbs. or less) and if your luggage is over the requirement you will be subject to increased fees. According to federal data, the airline industry raked in $4.6 billion dollars in 2018. I don’t think baggage fees are going anywhere they are here to stay. See the break down of baggage fees by airline for 2017:
|American Airlines||$1,172.7 M|
|Virgin America||$62.7 M|
|Sun Country||$20.1 M|
A constant requirement an airline has to take into consideration is determining the right weight and balance on the plane. The Boeing 737-800 has a maximum takeoff weight of 175,000 pounds. The plane accounts for 90,000 pounds; fuel 40,000; passengers, cargo, and crew 45,000 pounds. Your next question may be: “ How does the airline know the weight of passengers, carryon baggage, and personal items?” The airline does not and should not ask you how much you weigh, however, there is a lot of math that goes into calculating the payload or the load on the aircraft customers are paying for. So far, the airlines have dialed this in quite well, you do not hear too often of airplane related issues due to a plane being over capacity.
Airlines such as Delta are starting to regress back and provide those amenities once a part of standard travel. Those things include: free meals on some domestic flights, coach passengers on international flights will soon see free welcome cocktails, hot towel service, and improved dining. Will other airlines soon follow only time will tell.
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