In Ireland, we have a discount flyer called RyanAir. Although flying in a RyanAir jet is hygenically similar to flying through the friendly skies in a Time Square porn theater circa Taxi Driver, you can fly to most of Europe’s hot spots for as little as a couple euros, if you order your tickets a couple months in advance. Of course, where they gouge you is in buying standard airplane amentities. A vacuum-sealed bag of peanuts will cost you more than you paid for your ticket. 250ml cans of soda cost more per milliliter than liquid smack. And so on.
Apparently, American airlines are about to take a page from RyanAir’s book and start charging for amenities. A blanket and pillow on your next flight could cost you $2. A soda will be $1. An aisle seat will cost you $15.
With airlines going belly-up all over the place, it’s clear that they can’t stay competitive by merely rising ticket prices. The most important thing to travelers is low ticket prices. So instead, airlines seem to be adopting a megaplex-like business model: fly the planes at a loss, make your profit on the concessions. Like in movie theaters, if you sneak in with a bottle of coke and a bag of Doritos from the convenience store, you’ll be fine.
Airlines to Begin Charging for Amenities [Yahoo News]