Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More on Northwest's $15 Comfort Fee

A week ago, Northwest Airlines began charging a $15 premium for coach class aisle and exit row seats, trying to squeeze a little extra money from passengers who are willing to pay extra for some perceived comfort.
Although the company has not been forthcoming with any figures, it claims that sales of these seats are exceeding expectation.
Business travelers are incensed at this "comfort" fee, claiming that it merely charges more for the seats without enhancing the "comfort" value at all.  One more example of what was once free, now is not. 
Frequent flyers continue to bemoan the loss of perks that they received as a result of their loyalty to Northwest, as these seats were generally reserved for elite members of the program.  What once was free, now is not.
Northwest, still struggling in bankruptcy, had not said whether this test program will be made permanent, deferring the decision once more customer feedback is received.  According to an article in the Washington Post, Northwest should be hearing it loud and clear.  Now, they just have to listen.
How many times do I need to say it:
Just raise the ticket prices and few bucks a piece and stop these ridiculous little add-on charges!

1 comment:

Astroprof said...

I realize that all the little perks that passengers used to get "free", such as meals, curb side checkin, blankets, etc, were not really free. They were included in the price. The discount airlines didn't provide these services. So, you could fly a major airline and have a nice flight with lots of little conveniences, or you could pay less and fly a discount airline, but with a flight that was more like a bus trip. Now, you can fly a bus-like trip with a discount airline, or you can pay more for a bus-like trip with a major airline with no additional perks. I know that it isn't that simple, but this is becoming the perception among some of the passengers. Which airline do you think people will pick?