The Atlantic has a video up on their site (access here) on “Economic In Plain English”-series about airlines fees and how they got so bad.
The main message on the video is that the fees got so bad because of us. How could it be?
The airline industry used to be regulated in the United States and the airlines were not allowed to sell seat seats lower than certain price. Round trip from New York to Los Angeles in 1974 would have cost $1400 in today’s dollars.
It used to be difficult to find cheap seats, but now people are using comparison shopping engines to find the lowest prices.
The fees that the airlines collected in the United States shot up by 650% in just five years.
This is a nice short video in plain English trying to explain the rationale behind of these “add on fees” that truly add on the price of the ticket nowadays especially if you would like to check in a bag or two, have preferred seating, like to eat and have a drink or two.
Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with this kind of pricing. I tolerate it on short-haul flights IF the underlying price is truly low, but not on long/medium-haul or higher priced tickets.