Airlines Charging Fees To Be Extra Nice Because They Can’t Make Us Pay For Air To Breathe

We’ve come a long way from free luxury: Airlines have run out of finding ways to charge passengers for services that used to be free, like checking a bag or having a place to put your legs, so the newest add-on options are simply treatment upgrades. For a little extra cash, travelers can buy a bit of extra kindness or just a boost back toward the days of yore when airlines actually wanted to do something nice.

Those nice somethings however, don’t come free anymore: Passengers can pay for things like rented iPads loaded with movies, hot meals or even the precious experience of having no one sit next to them and jostle for elbow room on the arm rest.

As the Associated Press reports, the new fees are all about the finer things in flight, and will be served up to passengers based on what their personal data says about them.

“We’ve moved from takeaways to enhancements,” says one consultant. “It’s all about personalizing the travel experience.”

Now that carriers have tacked on those extra fees for bags or changing reservations, they’ve run out of ways to raise more cash. Bring on the extras, the niceties, the additional delights!

But instead of blindly flinging perks at fliers and hoping they stick, airlines will soon be targeting services to passengers using the info of past purchases.

“We have massive amounts of data,” says Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “We know who you are. We know what your history has been on the airline. We can customize our offerings.”

You hear that? They know who we are. Which means Ryan Gosling better be sitting next to me on my flight home to Milwaukee or I will be one very displeased customer.

AIRLINES PROMISE A RETURN TO CIVILITY, FOR A FEE [Associated Press]