Sunday, October 5, 2008

a-la-carte air charges by American Airlines

American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, is thinking up all kinds of things that they can charge for in their a la carte program. They were the first to charge for checked bags and now charge for blankets, pillows, headsets, drinks etc. Air Canada has been charging this way since 2004.

CRS software providers that give booking services to airlines and other travel providers may not be programed to the a la carte pricing structure. Sabre is American Airlines so they will adapt but Amadeus, Galileo and Worldspan may not be able to deal with the new pricing.

Northwest Airlines Corp. estimates baggage charges will bring in $150 million or more each year. Continental Airlines estimates it will generate more than $100 million just from a new $15 fee for checking a single bag for non elite passengers
Air Canadas choices are from four fare levels:
The top tickets, called Latitude and Executive Class, are fully refundable and come with priority check-in, food and other extras included. The cheapest fare, called Tango, requires extra fees for upgrades such as a food voucher, advance seat selection, flight changes and airport lounge access. Tango passengers can save another $3 by declining frequent-flier miles or not checking a bag. mmmm... not a bad idea, now that airline miles are worthless.

AA is courting Business Class passengers with its "We Know Why You Fly" brand campaign.

But nickle and diming us because you know that we have to fly does not make us happy and now that oil is cheaper, are they going to give us refunds?
They have added charges for fuel, checked baggage, upgrading from coach and other services, but the one that hits me the most is the flight change fee. I paid 1000.00 dollars on one Continental Airlines international flight. It is $250.00 each time you change the date and I changed both the inbound and the outbound flights 2 times each. The change fee for domestic flights is $150.00 each time.

“As with all of our advertising, we wanted to develop the best story that relates to our customers,” said Roger Frizzell, for American Airlines. “This new commercial is a strong addition to our broadcast and online rotation, exemplifies the commitment that American makes to its business customers, giving them the product that they value.” The new work follows the story of a film producer and the obstacles that she faces while working in different international locations with a talented, yet challenging director. As in real life, American’s global scope and new Business Class offerings are a pivotal part of the story of this resourceful professional who “just makes things happen.” Another commercial, will also be an integral part of American’s out-of-home utilization of video. It is the first of a series that complements the current campaign, which includes “Team Building,” a commercial that features two co-workers desperately trying to change their flights to an earlier departure so they can escape their team-building seminar. That commercial recently won a Cannes Bronze Lion.

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