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SWA May Charge For Bags Too?

weasel_lips

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Pack light or pay up for holiday flights



By: The Associated Press | 23 Dec 2008 | 04:13 PM setDefault('cnbc_textbody');

ATLANTA - When airlines started charging some passengers $15 or more earlier this year to check their bags, they blamed soaring fuel costs. Since then, oil has plummeted. Yet the industry hasn't stowed away the bag fees.
Many of us are still paying to fly with a suitcase that doesn't squeeze into the overhead bin or under the seat.
The reason is simple: Airlines are still losing money, though now largely because of the recession instead of oil.
And don't expect the fee to disappear even when the economy rebounds. Airlines are finding the fees to be a reliable source of revenue and say that such charges allow passengers to choose only the services they want.
Passengers, meanwhile, are paying up and grumbling. Many are being socked, on average, $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second.
"I think it's unfair and I think it's highway robbery," said Benjamin Johnson, a 38-year-old government employee, as he headed from Atlanta to Orlando, Fla.
For the airlines, the bag fees, on top of charges for other once-free amenities, add up to much-needed revenue. The industry is expected to lose $4 billion for 2008, excluding one-time items, despite the plunge in the price of a barrel of oil from $147 in July to around $40 this week, said Calyon Securities airline analyst Ray Neidl.
Airlines now say they are being hurt by the recession, which has caused demand for seats to drop. The International Air Transport Association said global passenger traffic declined 1.3 percent in October from a year earlier.
Airlines also have been weighed down by bad bets they made on the price of fuel when it was skyrocketing. After locking in at prices that looked reasonable earlier this year, some are paying substantially more than market price for a portion of their fuel.
Airlines do not break out the revenue brought in by baggage fees.
"While fuel prices have fallen, the economy has created a new uncertainty for us, and the industry's going to lose billions of dollars this year," said Doug Parker, chief of US Airways Group Inc. "Indeed, it was fuel-driven economic concerns, but now we have different economic concerns. And having said that, I, for one at least, believe it's the right model for the business, irrespective of what environment we're in."
Airlines say the fees are a new way of doing business in which services that were once bundled into the price of a ticket are offered a la carte.
An October poll of frequent travelers found that half prefer a lower ticket price in exchange for a la carte pricing for food, beverages, headphones and blankets. But the same survey, conducted for IBM, found that 82 percent described the baggage fees as a "rip-off." By comparison, only 45 percent viewed food and nonalcoholic drinks that way.
After getting off a recent flight to Atlanta, insurance sales representative Cecilia Kolstad said it was crazy she had to fork over extra money to check a bag.
But "if it's between that and seeing an airline go out of business I guess I'll pay the $15 because I like to fly," said Kolstad, 55, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Some travelers bypass the fees by packing lighter. Airlines typically waive the fees for passengers who have elite status in their frequent flier clubs, first-class passengers, and travelers on international flights.
Passengers also can get around the fees for the first two bags by booking on Southwest Airlines, though it doesn't fly to some major cities such as Boston, Atlanta and Miami. But how long Southwest can go without charging the fees is anyone's guess.
Dave Ridley, a Southwest marketing executive, said in October his airline would be surveying people about charges, and he would not rule out fees in the future.
___
AP Airlines Writer Joshua Freed in Chicago and Associated Press Writer Johnny Clark in Atlanta contributed to this report.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/28368530/for/cnbc/
 

rajflyboy

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He He He

Don't laugh at USAIR for too long!! SWA (The Love Machine) could charge for bags! Thats a real showing of LOVE right there.
 

Dude

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Please....let's not say NEVER. I surely hope you are correct and it will never happen, especially since we have spent so much money making fun of airlines that do charge fees.
 

Pervis

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With the marketing strategy like yellow "no frills zone" tape around gate agent areas and posters down the jet bridge, I doubt it. Good move SWA. At least one group of managers get it right.

How about tickets are all inclusive, and charge enough to pay the bills? When did that concept go away? Instead some major nickle and diming, just like all the taxes we pay. Out of sight out of mind.
 

GuppyWN

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Never happen. We try not to f*ck over our pax.

Gary has stated that we are giving away millions in revenue and the pax aren't really that opposed to the bag fee.

You'll see bag fees 30 days after we quit marketing the "no fee zone."

Gup
 

clickclickboom

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Never happen. We try not to f*ck over our pax.


The first time you put one of your pax on a volaris they will get a f-ucking they will never forget..

Last week UAL was selling planes and leasing back for cash and this week now SWA is doing the same with planes that they own free and clear..

Its amazing how the second the company cannot record gains on hedges that the sky begins falling..

Good luck guys i think you should hit ATL and CVG while you still can and smack those delta pretty boys around a little...
 

Sedona16

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The first time you put one of your pax on a volaris they will get a f-ucking they will never forget..

Last week UAL was selling planes and leasing back for cash and this week now SWA is doing the same with planes that they own free and clear..

Its amazing how the second the company cannot record gains on hedges that the sky begins falling..

Good luck guys i think you should hit ATL and CVG while you still can and smack those delta pretty boys around a little...

This might have been a good strategy when Delta was wounded but the timing on it now would be ill advised. Delta is well positioned now to withstand and compete against any american carrier....moreso than they have been in years with nearly 7 billion in liquidity, potentially over a billion plus in profits next year, quickly adding more business up front due to their new global route structure and the underwater fuel hedges gone by first quarter 2009. SWA's hedges are severely under water, moreso than almost any carrier out there over the next five years and selling/lease back planes to cover what is quickly becoming liquidity issues to cover said hedges.
 
Last edited:

Sandhawk

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He He He

Don't laugh at USAIR for too long!! SWA (The Love Machine) could charge for bags! Thats a real showing of LOVE right there.


Don't worry - USAIRWAYS will always lead the pack when it comes to f***ing over their passengers (and employees, too!)

:smash:
 

hockeypilot44

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Never happen. We try not to f*ck over our pax.


You have no say whether Southwest charges for bags just like the other airlines' pilots had no say when their airline started charging for bags. If Southwest does start charging for bags and f*cking over its passengers as you like to call it, are you going to quit? If not, then shut the f*ck up.
 

Sedona16

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You have no say whether Southwest charges for bags just like the other airlines' pilots had no say when their airline started charging for bags. If Southwest does start charging for bags and f*cking over its passengers as you like to call it, are you going to quit? If not, then shut the f*ck up.

Not to mention the fact SWA has been hearding pax around like cattle for years with less ammenities than most. Its ironic this guy thinks that until they start charging for bags they are some kind of premium quality carrier.
 

pw4000

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Never happen. We try not to f*ck over our pax.

no one is immune look at TWA they used to be just like swa owned all the a/c ect. Never is a big word
 

Skater

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I know the chick who writes Plane Business always comments that SWA drives her nuts because we always leave so much revenue on the table. I think the additional charges are exactly that. Our drinks are cheaper, no baggage fees, etc. We have more daily flights than anyone. Even an extra buck for booze would be huge when you multiply the flights by the pax by the booze. Especially with the cashless cabin, I think people are less likely to notice an increase than before. I know our revenue guys are smart, so maybe they feel like those additional fees would, ultimately, reduce revenue, but logically, I kind of doubt that. More income would lead to more growth and thus quicker upgrades. Then maybe when I am sitting next to the 58 year old captain, who is buying land for his second house with enough land to put in an airstrip but now has to work until 65 to reach his goal instead of 60 (and naturally my hearts bleeds for the poor bastard having to work that much longer to live his opulant life style) I wouldn't be so bothered by the long upgrade times...........
 

contrail67

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The first time you put one of your pax on a volaris they will get a f-ucking they will never forget..

Last week UAL was selling planes and leasing back for cash and this week now SWA is doing the same with planes that they own free and clear..

Its amazing how the second the company cannot record gains on hedges that the sky begins falling..

Good luck guys i think you should hit ATL and CVG while you still can and smack those delta pretty boys around a little...


And all the United bashers were quick to criticize them for selling planes and leasing them back...may not have been that bad of an idea.
 
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