In recent years, it seems like airlines have been adding all kinds of fees. The drive for additional revenue continues on!
In the past, we’ve seen different airlines start charging for fees. We’ve even discussed how one airline offered early boarding privileges for a fee, which is something that doesn’t resonate with me though I realize it might work for others. Now comes a plan by a different airline, United, which gives people the opportunity to subscribe to 2 different programs: a year of checked bags, and seats with more legroom
Well, it’s hard to blame them too much, especially those of us that suggest diversification of income in our own lives. Getting income from different revenue streams isn’t a bad thing for people or businesses. There must be a market for this, one would think.
Per this article on CNN Money the baggage subscription apparently allows for one checked bag per flight, for an annual fee of $349. Two checked bags would be $399. This would be good on trips through the mainland U.S. and Canada. If it typically costs $25 to check one bag, that’s 14 flights to reach a break-even point. In other words, 7 round trips. If a person checks 2 bags, that would turn into a better deal – but I don’t know too many people who check two bags on a trip multiple times through the year! There are also provisions for additional travelers.
Still, I can see how this might be a good deal for some folks. If a person does a lot of traveling, it might be worth it. Or, if you’re not directly paying for this but somebody else is, it might be worth doing it! Of course, I inadvertently found a way to get a free checked bag on a flight years ago, so I’ve gotten someone else to pay in a different way 🙂
The legroom thing, I’m not so sure about. This one is apparently $499 for an “Economy Plus” subscription, which gets you seats with more legroom. Again, if someone else is paying and money’s no object, that’s one thing. But on my own dime, I can deal with less legroom on a large number of flights instead of shelling out this kind of money. I’m sure it might be worth it for some people though.
This is no rant on crazy airline fees, as these two seem purely optional. I don’t find them to be a fit for me, but they could work for some others I’m sure. What’s interesting is how airlines seem to be coming up with all these different ways to generate some revenue beyond just airfare.
Personally, I’m all about getting the lowest fare possible – as long as it doesn’t involve horrible fight times. Being overly comfortable isn’t something worth paying for, at least for me. I’d tolerate less legroom if it could save me money. That $499, if invested and earning a good rate of return, could be worth a lot more years down the line!
My Questions for You
What are your thoughts on these programs?
Would you find it worthwhile to get extra legroom or a checked bag, for an annual fee?