A Down2Earth View Point
Airline Baggage Charges
The Impacts & Proposed Solution
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Not too long ago the airlines industry came up with the novel idea to start charging for the second checked bag while the first one would be allowed free. The reasons to do so was to offset the high fuel charges and competitive ticket prices to help them make some profit in return for the services that they offer. This strategy was not taken very positively by the travlers, many of them balked at this idea of having a surcharge for what they received for free in the past. However this idea was accepted as the first bag could still be checked in for free which meets the needs of most travelers. In the short run the strategy to allow one bag free was a brilliant idea to keep passenger complaints down.

The beginning of extra baggage handling fees.

This was a great start to getting the customers to get used to the idea of paying extra for a checked bag. Very soon other major airlines followed suit and started charging for the second bag checked in. It was not too long afterwards that the airline industry, spearheaded by American Airlines and United Airlines,spun their strategy to charge for the first checked in bag as well.

This has upset travelers to a point where they are making their displeasure known. Many of them do not wish to accept such frivolous charges. Soon they will be suing the airline if their bags are lost or missing as they will want something in return for the cost of checking in their bags.

My advice for the airline industry would be to help their customers accept this change in a radically different way. This has a lot to do with understanding human psychology and how change can be introduced to allow them to accept it naturally.

One way to do so is to charge for the tickets in such a way that there is a built in charge in the price of the ticket for 2 checked in bags. This is assuming that the passenger will be checking in 2 bags. However during the checkout process they should be given the option to remove any extra charges that they do not need. Such a stratedy will be seen as if they are getting a discount for each bag that they will not be checking in. This discount can be taken off the price during checkout so they receive the lowest possible travel fare. It will also seem acceptable to them that they are in control to decide how much they wish to pay for their ticket based on the services they choose to use.

Alternately they can be given a discount travel voucher during checking if they paid for the bag charge but decide not to check in any bags or only one bag. This voucher can be good for use with future travel purchases from the airline. This psychologically ties the customer to the airline because they have a voucher to redeem with them. Of course they are not being forced to do so.

Such creative ways to handle change are far more effective and acceptable to the consumers as the airline will be demonstrating to them that they are in control of the price and are actually bringing down the price of their air fare by agreeing to not check in a bag. If they decide to check in a bag, they will be doing so by their own choice and be willing to pay a charge to do so.


The Airline industry should adopt these suggested measures which will result in better customer satisfaction and quickly win back customer loyalty and their preference of carrier.