SHOULD AIRLINES CHARGE FOR CHECKED IN BAGGAGE?
I love both your thought-provoking topic and your article. Here is the proof—my comment. Airlines, like any other business, must charge for all their costs and more to make a profit. Therefore, the real question is “should airlines charge for checked-in baggage separately” or even “how should airlines charge for checked-in baggage.” And the answer would really depend upon “what do the airlines want to ultimately happen,” because every different way of charging will have different consequences.
Consider this: If the airlines decided to divide their luggage carrying costs equally among all passengers, all will pay the same—and higher than now—ticket price, but once the decision to travel is taken, people will try to carry the maximum amount of luggage they can think of. However, the result will be that in the long run, the price of tickets will keep going up. That is exactly what is happening today to the carry-on baggage. Since its cost is included in the base ticket price, people try to take along as much as the rules would permit, even when they cannot physically lift or even drag it. This situation is even further aggravated because airlines do not always check the actual size and weight of the carry-ons.
Therefore, assuming airlines make their profit primarily by carrying passengers, they should actually start charging for all luggage including carry-on. That would result in passengers carrying only the very minimum necessary things. Even better would be to practically ban all carry-on luggage, with the exceptions of travel documents, and other few critical necessities such as medicines, eyeglasses etc. That would restore the concept of carry-on back to its true purpose, more space would be freed inside the aircraft, and the turnaround time will be reduced.
On a lighter note, imagine what would happen if the ticket price for the person was also based on his or her weight. People would become weight conscious, companies would allow only the healthy executives to travel, and people would not overeat during the journey. What better way to promote health-consciousness in a society that desperately needs it.
SHOULD AIRLINES CHARGE FOR CHECKED IN BAGGAGE?
Airlines should most certainly NOT charge for checking in baggage. Some airlines were already charging for checked in baggage if it exceeded 2 bags. Now, the airlines are charging $15 for the first bag and $25 for the second bag. This new concept of paying for all baggage checked in is ridiculous! Even more ridiculous is the fact that not everyone is being charged for checked in bags. Passengers excluded are those who are "elite" level frequent-flier club members and those paying the full fare.
Airline companies, like all other companies are a business. Businesses have ups and downs, and they have losses like all other companies. This loss that they are experiencing now on the whole is not on such a grand scale as to start charging individuals for it!
The only reason they have the audacity to do this is because the world has become and is becoming more and more globalized. We are now able to deal with people on other continents face to face in a matter of hours. In the past, making a long journey to another continent was a big ordeal. These days, it is commonplace to hear that you or your friend went to London and Paris in one week. The airlines know this and they are making a profit off the travelers.
The cost for a summer flight when compared to last year is already up by 20%; the airlines are thus making up for their losses from fuel costs right there. Why couldn't the airlines start with cutting down the size of the carry on luggage, thereby being able to allow the same amount of check in luggage? Has anyone seen the size of the carry-on luggage in today's world? The carry on bags are humongous! They barely fit into the overhead compartments and they have become so heavy, some passengers are not even able to lift their own bags. This should have been another criteria the airlines could have implemented. They could have a restriction on the weight of the luggage; the luggage should be of a weight that you can carry or lift, approximately say, half the weight of your own body. Another idea is to retire "older, fuel-guzzling aircraft", and only run on the newer aircraft which are more environmentally friendly and use less fuel.
One consequence to charging for checked in luggage will be longer check in lines at the airport, as more and more people with try and fit everything into their carry on luggage. This will create greater security lines and overfilling of the overhead compartments. Some people may even be required to check in their carry on luggage when the over head bins all fill up. This will create even more delays.The airlines could have cut corners in other ways, creating a safer environment in the plane, with smaller, lighter carry on baggage and allowed the same check in baggage regimen. However, they are still a business and they have acted like a business who knows that they can call the shots. They do not need to give incentives any longer, as people NEED to travel and they will travel due to the globilization of the world.
If travel for vacation or leisure is cut down, the travel for business will still continue.