Now That Fees Are The Norm, Airlines Cooking Up Even More Charges To Tack On

So you’ve gotten used to shoving everything you’ll need for a two-week trip into a carryon bag and fighting for overhead space on the plane. Maybe you’re even okay with forking over extra cash to choose the right seat with enough leg room. But if you’re finally feeling comfortable navigating the world of airline fees, don’t relax quite yet — there are even more extra charges coming.
Like some sort of nefarious meeting helmed by Dr. Evil, the airline industry spent three days last week meeting with experts in technology, marketing and more to come up with some more moneymakers.

The Los Angeles Times says the three-day Airline Information conference in San Diego brought airline reps together, ostensibly so everyone could rub their hands greedily and cackle over new fees. So to speak.

For example, an insurance executive speaking during a meeting on fee innovations said passengers will be offered new forms of travel insurance, including policies to pay you if rain ruins your vacation or if an injury keeps you from running an out-of-town endurance race.

Besides just trying to get your money, airlines are also trying to figure out how to get their hands on that other, perhaps equally as valuable currency — passenger data that’s collected every time a customer books a flight. If they can crack the code of what you like, maybe you’ll buy a special package tailored to fit your tastes exactly.

“How do you look after your customer?” asked the VP of one technology company. “You mine the data.”

So in this case, “look after” translates to “get the most out of.”

We’ll be keeping our eyes out for any new fees, of course, and let us know via tips@consumerist.com if you’re presented with the chance to spend even more on so-called “extras.”

Airlines working on new fees [Los Angeles Times]