Airline fees not sustainable

21st Sep 2009
Airline fees not sustainable

Airlines have been slammed for adding more and more extras onto the price of a ticket.

Charging for bags and check-in is an unsustainable model according to the chairman of the National Business Travel Association, Kevin Maguire (second right).

Maguire’s comments come as United Airlines becomes the latest US carrier to charge a fee for a second hold bag.

The airline will charge $50 per piece of extra baggage for travellers flying between the US and Europe, or $45 if booked online.

United Airlines will add the fee on tickets purchased on or after September 30 for travel on or after December 15.


The airline said it was simply matching four other U.S. carriers that already have announced new fees for economy passengers who want to check more than one piece of luggage.

British Airways is following a similar policy, charging for a second hold bag for economy passengers travelling after October 7. It is also including sporting equipment as part of a passenger’s allowance for the first time from the same date.

Maguire, speaking at this year’s Advantage Conference, said: “Ancillary charges are not the way to profit. The business model needs to be corrected.
“This is not a sustainable way to make money.”

Maguire, who is also head of travel at the University of Texas, said it was now costing his baseball team and extra $10,000 per trip in equipment charges to fly.

He said it also made it extremely difficult for a corporate to manage its travel budgets when there were so many extra charges to consider.

“It makes it virtually impossible to budget your travel, but what it does do is provide an opportunity for a travel management company to negotiate some good deals.”



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