Cranky on the Web (May 26 – June 1)

Delta tests ‘basic economy’ fares on some flightsAtlanta Journal-Constitution
The AJC wrote about Delta’s Basic Economy fares out of Detroit and I was asked to comment.

An Argument in Favor of Fees for Aisle and Window SeatsConde Nast Daily Traveler
While people love to instantly hate on any fee, including the misguided Sen Chuck Schumer (D-NY), there is a reason to actually like the fees for choosing aisles and windows toward the front of the airplane.

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20 Comments on "Cranky on the Web (May 26 – June 1)"

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Shane
Guest
I understand the argument for seat fees, but what happens when there is a family traveling with kids? Have the airlines with such fees accommodated or does this turn into a “flying with minors fee” since airlines will not allow kids under 5 to sit by themselves. Plus, who wants a 7 or 8 y.o. to sit alone when there are parents a few rows over. Parents (or companions of special needs passengers) should not have to pay extra to be responsible citizens on the plane. Not completely unrelated, my wife flew on Spirit a week ago for the first… Read more »
David SF eastbay
Member

No one will ever be happy with buying a tickeet and what you get for it. But while the airlines have been telling Congress not to think of them as money machines charging more/higher taxes, airlines need to stop thinking as the flying public as ATM machines.

Nick Barnard
Member

Perhaps the airlines will stop thinking of the flying public as ATM machines as soon as the public stops thinking of them as a commodity, thus forcing ticket prices down..

DesertGhost
Guest

The idea of charging for a better location is done all the time at sporting events. I have 35 yard-line lower level seats for the Arizona Cardinals. I pay quite a bit more than the guy whose seat is in a corner of the upper level. Why not have the same kind of pricing on airlines?

Shane
Guest

If it was a matter of paying for a better section, I would agree. But there are some situations where the airline would possibly be saying (depending on implementation and policy) that you have to pay extra to sit with your youn child, and by the way it is the FAA regulation and our policy that you have to sit next to them. What I’d they said you can sit behind first base for $50 but if you want your kid to sit next to you their ticket if $75? That’s a closer analogy.

Nick Barnard
Member

This is also for ADVANCED seat assignments.. I think those at the time of checkin aren’t charged for. So it really isn’t a family tax.

judynagy
Guest

Yay for the airlines! They’re getting something right. If the flying public wants rock-bottom fares, that’s fine. If I want a better seat, I can pay for it, that’s fine too. What could possibly be the problem?

James Williams
Guest

Basic Economy seems like another iteration of Song, DL’s failed airline within an airline.

MeanMeosh
Guest
I’ll stay away from the argument about whether seat selection fees are a good idea or not, or whether they represent a family tax or not. My issue is, what happens when the airline, for one reason or another, refuses to honor an advance seat request that I paid for? This can happen for a multitude of reasons – equipment changes, schedule changes, or just plain “operational reasons” that seem to occur at random. If I pay $15 for an aisle seat in the front, and I get moved to a middle seat in the back, what are the chances… Read more »
Cook
Guest

Delta is offering “Basic Economy” fares from Detroit becasue that face substantial competition in said city. Compare those fares to similar Delta routes originating from cities with little or no competition. The differences will blow your socks off (or a hole in your wallet)!

Cook
Guest
Ha! I’m more concerned about the good Senator’s proposal that families (with runny-nosed children) be given Specail Treatment. If one wants to fly with a gaggle of children, (and wishes to sit with them) do the smart thing(s): Book well in advance, pay the modest fee for grouping your seats – or simply don’t fly. Waiting until the last instant to group your seats and then asking several other pax to more, because YOU did not plan well is not my problem. When load factors were in the 50% – 60% range, accommodating everyone was usually quite easy. In today’s… Read more »
Sanjeev M
Guest

Or fly Southwest and check in early. If there’s no seats next to each other when you board, do it the old-fashioned way and ask someone nicely. This whole issue is really overblown.

Ron
Guest

I’d much rather prefer a middle between two thin people than a window or aisle next to a fat person. When will the airlines start charging for girth?

Nick Barnard
Member

When the airlines buy off congress to make charging by girth legal.

capnaux
Guest

Yes, it seems a win-win. Airlines are always trying to maximize revenue, and most pax seem to want a choice of seats and are willing to pay for it (a nuance of the classic 1st Class/coach, frankly.)
Eric
Captain, A320
PHX
capnaux.blogspot.com
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