8 Responses

  1. downhillcrasher
    downhillcrasher at |

    Maybe a bit unrelated, but I wish airlines would hurry up and start charging for overhead bin space (except for elites of course). I think they will do it eventually. And I think it will be the only thing that really calms the mad boarding rush we currently experience.

    1. Seth
      Seth at |

      Enforcing the current rules would go much further towards calming the boarding melee, but the airlines won’t do it. The elites are the biggest offenders anyways so leaving them exempt isn’t going to fix those problems.

  2. downhillcrasher
    downhillcrasher at |

    I agree about enforcement, but I see the lack of enforcement as rooted in a lack of economic interest on the airlines part. Maybe stricter and consistent enforcement could drive some additional checked baggage revenue, but I think they are more concerned with getting flights out on time than hassling with carry on bags. Charging a fee, on the other hand, would most definitely lead to strict enforcement. As for elites, you probably right that on elite heavy flights (SFO-IAD on UA comes to mind), nothing will help, but on the vast majority of flights I think it would. Anyway, I think we will find out soon enough, as your blog post implies, we are headed steadily towards fees for everything in the name of incremental revenue.

  3. ptahcha
    ptahcha at |

    errr must’ve been PMCO or arrival lounge service on UA, otherwise access rules are the same for upgraders and paid tickets on PMUA.

    +1 for AA provide lounge access for full-fare transcon customers.

    1. Seth
      Seth at |

      Definitely not PMCO; it must’ve been the arrivals lounge service I was thinking of. And that rule changed with the merger so everyone gets in.

      And I agree, Carl, that the number affected will probably be reasonably low, but that doesn’t seem like a good reason to kill a benefit. After all, if so few people are using it then the costs of keeping it aren’t thta significant, right??

  4. Carl
    Carl at |

    This change is unlikely to affect many people unless Alaska starts to charge elites for bags. The first class cabin is generally filled either with people paying first class fares (including people using the $99 companion fare) and with elites who have upgraded and people who redeemed miles for the tickets. All of them will still be exempt from the baggage fee. Only non-elites who upgrade using miles or guest upgrades or possibly gate upgrades will pay the fee. Maybe this change was made so that Alaska doesn’t have to deal with people who got upgraded after paying to check bags, and who now want a refund for the bag fee.

    Alaska took away another benefit in the last year or so, which wasn’t reported very much. It used to be the case that when an elite redeemed an award for a non-elite passenger, the non-elite passenger got the same benefits as the elite, notably preferred seating and free bags. Alaska quietly changed that, and the non-elite no longer gets either benefit when using an award given by an elite. This is different than United, where the recipient of a mileage ticket does get the benefits.

  5. Carl
    Carl at |

    Seth, the only justification I can imagine is that AS had to deal with people who upgraded for cash at the gate, and then wanted a refund for their bag fees, and AS changed the policy so they can no longer get a refund. However, this will hit non-elites who upgrade with miles or use guest upgrades from friends/relatives.

    1. Seth
      Seth at |

      There are other airlines which have been dealing with the checked bag fee and no refunds if not in F at time of check-in thing for years as well. i find it hard to believe that’s the deciding factor or that it was easier for the company to code the systems this way versus other options available.