Feeling nickeled and dimed when traveling? The airline industry has introduced more fees, but the new ones will give travelers a few extra comforts: hot meals, iPads to rent, empty seats next to them, and even the ability to have their luggage meet them at home.
The airline industry rakes in more than $15 billion a year by levying fees. Without them, carriers would be in the red. Airlines have unsuccessfully attempted to raise fares 29 out of 48 times in three years, the Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, the price of jet fuel has almost tripled within the last decade, yet round-trip base fares have increased just 3%. With revenue from checked-bag fees declining 7% in the second quarter from the same period last year, carriers have looked to offer more extras, such as iPad rentals, for a fee. Airlines are able to sell these upgrades in the booking process, with follow-up emails before a trip, and at check-in before boarding.
Using analytics, the hope is to tailor these offers based on travelers’ previous purchases. “We have massive amounts of data,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson told the AP. “We know who you are. We know what your history has been on the airline. We can customize our offerings.”