Charter airlines can charge extra for preferred economy seating and I am glad to see they take advantage of the revenue opportunity.
As far as in the US domestic market, just about all airlines are "looking into" additional fee seating. With in several months (pending global tension in the middle east) airline by airline will announce a hierarchy of additional service fees based upon ticket price and Loyalty Program or Frequent Flyer (FF) level. This way the FF
will not be inconvenienced or slighted on any flight.
First, discounting of air mileage based upon FF
level and fare paid. This is already occurring with DL
and believe some other airlines? Lower airfares only receive 50% of the actual miles flown. Next, for a fee you will be able to up the percentage to say 75% miles flown, for an additional fee.
Preassigned seating for very discount seats, unless you are a premium teer level FF
member, will eventually not be offered for free.
However, if you would like a preassigned seat there will be a "service fee" collectible via the internet, travel agency or reservation office.
Next, area of economy cabin, certain seats will hold a fee premium, aisles, and (second emergency row narrow body equipment as first emerg. row are non recline) emergency exit rows. Forward area of the cabin window. There would be different prices set, easily be accomplished with today's technology.
IFE will become fee based (as CO
charge for headsets @ $5, you do get to keep them and reuse another flight.) As the IFE move to the back of each individual seat, another revenue opportunity.
The inflight meal purchase trials at DL
have worked quite well, though not revenue generating the programs do eliminate a cost. (Look for the disposal/refuse/green fee is attached at time of ordering? Pay for the flight attendant that picked up the item.)
Nickel and dimes are in, and the US population understands it, accepts it, and are willing to pay for it. Just look at any US utility bill (power or phone) the number of added fees, taxes and sur charges are phenomenal. Ashtray's in automobiles are now cost options when purchasing a car. "AAla carte" is in!
A good motto in the airline business today, "for a fee, not for free."
Airlines must improve their revenues, cut cost and charge for the product and services that customers value!
Always offer the best product available, (as preceived by your customer; be it price or space or meals or schedule or equipment or ground/inflight service or....maintenance?.) This is the only way to survive the current blood bath.
Smiles cost, when you fly multi million dollar, fuel guzzling birds and maintenance intensive assets.
2 cents Bf