Boarding a flight to a destination is the easiest and fastest way to get to most places. There was a time when for a middle-class family, boarding a flight either happened when there was a family emergency that needed immediate attention or when a family member was going abroad for a job. Now, however, flights have come to be the most efficient and convenient way to travel. But with it, come all the ways in which the airline industry is using you to mint money.
If you are travel frequently, here are a few things you should know about air travel:
1. Just to add pain to an economy flight, airlines are actually throwing in more seats, catering to the minimum legroom required. Because more passengers, more money.
Felt yourself being crammed up more than you used to on the same airline? You're not the only one. In fact, legroom has significantly reduced since the 1970s, just to add more seats to flights. It's called business, mate.
2. If you do not pay extra to book your choice of seat, you'll be given the worst there is, even if better ones are available. That's the whole scam of advance payment for better seats.
The people who usually do not pay in advance or book their seats are supposedly given the worst ones, like the ones at the back. All a way of making you pay up a little more, now that you know how uncomfortable it can get. Not just that, you're charged a fee if you do not reserve a seat in advance... Like what? Did you guys hold up that seat for my untimely arrival?
3. Most flights overbook their seats to avoid losses from no shows. But, passengers are still charged for not showing up.
To avoid loss at all costs in a next to zilch competitors industry can be pretty lucrative like that. Many flights overbook their seats, meaning a single seat is booked for more than one person, just so the airline does not incur the loss of a 'no show', which technically is an unoccupied but paid-for ticket. However, if all the people for the booked seat turn up, one of them is then booked on another flight. We all recall the United Airlines passenger being beaten up, don't we?
4. The myth of Basic and Standard Economy is soon catching up. Many flights offer a Basic Economy flight, where carry-on baggage is charged extra enough to cost more than your apparently 'Economy class' ticket.
Many airlines have the option of Basic Economy and Standard Economy. 'Basic' being a level lower, is a trap. Travelling basic means you'll have to pay extra for your carry-on luggage, which will end up being more expensive than the ticket you bought. Standard economy lets you have carry-on baggage, but then you've paid the dues for that, haven't you. There's also a term for it, 'Calculated Misery'.
5. Basic economy class also happens to be the way you're almost shamed into buying a Standard class ticket.
It's like being shamed into not buying the cheapest wine at a restaurant. A basic retail strategy for airline companies. The cheapest available seat will make the consumer look at an option that offers more for a slightly higher price. Add to that the image conscious misery of 'what will those sitting next to me think?'. Money making works on a lot of things money has nothing to do with.
6. The Priority Boarding Fee and the long wait to get into a plane can be totally avoided if only airlines avoid boarding people from the back first.
There is data that proves how if people are boarded according to the allotment of seats or even randomly from both ends, the waiting-to-board time can be reduced considerably. But then, that's the whole strategy behind 'priority boarding fee', innit?
There are hidden costs other than your ticket, like the fact that you pay for your ticket, and then separately pay for your seat, the added taxes, the overbooking that postpones and inconveniences so many passengers, non-Internet booking fees, unaccompanied minor fees, pet fees, and Wi-Fi fees - economy class might not be so economic after all.