I feel like I’ve approached this topic before, but in light of the airlines raising bag fees once again to $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second, I thought it was worth revisiting. There are a lot of people complaining about bag fees going up, but that’s not going to do any good. You need to take action if you’re not happy.
It’s a time-honored tradition for travelers to hate everything that airlines do. Airline management knows that and has to take all feedback it gets as part of a larger picture. So just because you say you hate bag fees, doesn’t mean they’ll believe you. Let me explain.
People say they hate things but then they don’t change their behavior. This has happened with nearly every change that has stuck in the airline industry. People always complain, but if they keep flying, then the revenue is usually worth it in the mind of the airline manager. Airlines also tend to move in packs, so you don’t often have much time to switch your business to show your displeasure. When one moves, they all move.
But there’s a unique opportunity when it comes to bag fees because of a couple of holdouts. Southwest won’t charge you for your first two checked bags and JetBlue won’t charge you for the first. If you really aren’t happy with bag fees, you should switch your business to these guys and then write a letter to your previous favorite airline letting them know. If enough people do that, the airlines will reverse where things are going with bag fees. If not, then they’ll just keep jacking them up until they can’t anymore. It’s that simple.
Ready to change the world? This won’t be easy, because remember, elite frequent fliers don’t pay bag fees. That means that the people the airlines deem to be most important aren’t going to care if there are bag fees or not. So it’s just the unwashed masses who have to get together to fight the power. And it’s only some of the unwashed masses who check bags. Families with kids, people going on long vacations, etc – they’re the ones impacted the most. That’s an uphill battle.
So, if you want to fight the power, stop complaining and change your behavior instead. And when you do it, tell someone with specific details. You can start with the comment section on this post. Airline people read this blog, so this is one way to reach them. Or, if you’re looking for something more effective, send them an email, give them a call, or send them a postcard from the trip you take on another airline. If you don’t like bag fees, that’s the way to get them changed.
Complaining about it won’t be enough.