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Amercian Airlines considering an "à la carte" price plan
What this means to us travelers is that the base price of the flight involves nothing more than the airline committing to getting you from A to B. Anything else, including checked luggage, food or even assigned seating, will be an extra fee.
This à la carte concept is like your cable company; $20 gets you the most basic package of channels, if you want anything decent, you'll have to pay up.
The concept of unbundled services is not new, several major carriers already do this, and it has proven to be quite successful for them. United Airlines started removing free services several years ago, and currently makes $700 million a year in fees alone.
The big question is where the madness will end. We've already lost free blankets and pillows on some carriers, and others have started charging for all beverages.
And while I agree that airlines need to do what they can to stay in business, converting themselves into budget carriers is not always going to be the best way to go. This nickel-and-diming would not be so bad, if the airlines were charging for new amenities, but at the end of the day, it's just the same stuff they have offered for years.
My advise, is to do what you can to make some kind of frequent flier status on the airline. Most of them have provisions in place that waive many fees for their "elite" members, including those on the lowest tier.
Next time you book a flight, consider trying to stay loyal to one airline, do some homework on the airline bonus programs, and try to generate enough miles to get that silver card.
Filed under: Airlines