I've been thinking about these ideas lately so I'll throw them out and see what others think:
We all know that the airlines are making profits these days. Some of these profits, however, are based on what I would call deceptive pricing practices. For example, I go on line to look for a ticket from say Denver to Orlando and I find a fare for 300 dollars round trip. Sounds like a great deal, i'm all over it. But wait:
Do I want to check a bag? Yes. My 300 dollar round trip ticket is now 350 dollars.
Do I want a good seat right at the front of the plane? Yes. My 350 dollar round trip ticket is now 450 dollars.
So, why not instead charge me that 450 dollars up front, then, if I decide not to check a bag I get a 25 or 50 dollar refund back on my credit card after I complete my travel. Likewise, if i decide i can live without that seat at the front of the plane, i get a 50 dollar refund each way once I complete my travel. I still end up choosing what services I want to pay for, but I dont feel tricked at the end of the day and matter of factly, by not using services I've already paid for, I'm saving money.
My idea here is simple. If there are more passengers booked on the flight than available free seats, the airline has to unblock an equal number of preferred seats as there are passengers who dont have seat assignments. The concept is that I, as a ticket holder, should not have to be forced to purchase a seat assignment just to get a guaranteed seat. This idea comes about mainly thanks to AA
and their practice of blocking up to 75 percent of coach seats for preferred passengers, which means that as a travel agent looking for a seat for a passenger, there are often none available.
Finally, Change fees:
It never ceases to amaze me that the airlines can charge a change fee that is more than the actual value of the ticket itself. What the airlines dont seem to understand is that they're effectively cheating themselves out of revenue. For example. Passenger is on a 125 dollar ticket from LA
to Phoenix, passenger wants to change to an earlier flight. If I change the existing ticket i have to charge that passenger an additional 200 dollars. Now, if there is a fare in the market for say 150 dollars one way then I'll offer the passenger the choice of either changing their existing ticket for 200 dollars or buying the new one way for 150. Nine times out of ten the passenger will opt to buy the new ticket rather than pay 200 dollars to change the existing one.
My solution: connect change fees to the actual price of the ticket. For tickets less than 200 dollars, lower the change fee to 50 dollars. For tickets between 200 and 400, lower change fees to 100 dollars and for tickets more than 400 dollars, then charge 200 dollars.
What do others think about these ideas, good? bad?