Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Future directions of Low Cost Airlines

This article is interesting but let me share my recent experiences
with Air Asia(Low Cost) and MAS(Normal).

On our trip to Penang, my old mother who has difficulty in walking had
to endure the up and down the stairs in Air Asia despite paying for
the Wheel Chair, so I decided to by our own Transit/Transport Chair in
our trip to Kuching. The ticket was more expensive as MAS(MHlow) at
about RM700 for the return trip, excluding wheel chair and food.

On our trip to Kuching, despite paying in advance of up to 2 months,
MAS tickets was cheaper as well to Kuching. We decided to split our
groups into 2, one Air Asia, the other MAS. This is how we discovered
that MAS can be cheaper even 2 weeks before a flight.
On top of that, those on Air Asia has to endure flight changes fro 2
pm to 6.45 am. We had to wake up early in the morning.
My brother also lost a luggage(ikan terubuk masin) while waiting for
the check in. During MAS flights, this is very rare because their
passengers tend to be well-to-do.

So always keep your ears and eyes open. Never assume that Air Asia is
always cheaper.

Spirit Airlines' $45 carry-on fee meets resistance
Updated 6h 48m ago | Comments 208 | Recommend 7 E-mail | Save |
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Plans to start charging for putting bags in overhead compartments have
some federal officials talking about taking action on unfair "hidden"
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By Dan Reed, USA TODAY
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and a U.S. senator are threatening
to halt a move by Spirit Airlines to charge passengers for stowing
bags in the overhead bins on its planes.
LaHood vowed over the weekend that his agency would address Spirit's
new charge, which could cost customers up to $45 to carry on a bag,
along with what he calls other unfair or hidden fees.

"We're gonna hold the airline's feet to the fire on this," LaHood said
in an interview published on the travel site. "I think
it's a bit outrageous that an airline is going to charge someone to
carry on a bag and put it in the overhead. And I've told our people to
try and figure out a way to mitigate that."

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Monday he'd propose legislation
declaring carry-on bags to be "reasonably necessary" to air
transportation unless the Treasury Department reverses its recent
ruling that carry-on bags aren't necessary. That would make such fees
subject to federal taxes the same as fares.

Schumer said passengers "have always had the right to bring a carry-on
bag without having to worry about getting nickel and dimed."

TODAY IN THE SKY: Spirit CEO: Sen. Schumer 'seems to have spoken
without knowing all the facts'
The threats come as airlines here and overseas increasingly impose new
fees and increase others on services that used to be an amenity or
even a necessity and included in the price of a plane ticket.

Ryanair, the leader in Europe in imposing what the airlines call "a la
carte" fees, hasn't abandoned the idea of putting pay toilets on the
airline's Boeing 737s. Stephen McNamara, Ryanair's spokesman, said
that Boeing hasn't gotten back yet on his airline's request to see
whether the toilets are feasible.

TODAY IN THE SKY: Ryanair pushes ahead with plan for toilet fee
Such a move isn't likely soon, though, because it could require
extensive and expensive modifications to existing planes and raise
questions by regulators.

Here in the U.S., threats by the government to step in to halt fees —
even Spirit's — are raising questions.

"This industry is still deregulated," said Terry Trippler, the veteran
travel agent and commentator. "Spirit Airlines has the right to run
their business the way they see fit. If customers don't like it, they
will fly someone else."

The fees help prop up U.S. airlines' ledgers, which have posted $60
billion in losses the last 10 years.

Consultant Jay Sorensen, who has championed a la carte pricing, said
consumers like the low fares fees help underwrite.

"I don't know if anyone likes the idea of fees," he said. "But people
like the low fares charged by the airlines that are associated with
these fees."

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