Sunday, November 29, 2009

Another ad I like

Have you seen the Southwest Airlines "bags fly free" series? Worth pausing your DVR fast-forwarding.


navah said...

i like the ad a lot too. especially when they focus in on the black bag thrower who is too choked up to talk... classic.

but i have a hard time with the campaign generally. other airlines have essentially unbundled their service, so instead of raising the price of tickets for everyone to cover some of the cost of bag handlers, they are only charging bag checkers. as someone who rarely checks a bag, i like that. if you don't check bags often and you fly southwest, then really you're paying for everyone else's bag through a higher ticket price. For most business travelers and young people, southwest not charging for bags, is bad for you.

does this bother anyone else? or have i already fallen off of the finals loopy train?

saisai said...
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saisai said...

navs, the only problem with your argument is that it assumes that airlines charge bag fees because they have to--that they are indeed "unbundling" services and charging for them accordingly. but, to my knowledge anyway, that's just not the case. if it were, i'd be all for it. i've long advocated charging passengers by the total pound, you plus your luggage times price per pound equals your ticket price. ("advocated" meaning thought angrily non-PC thoughts to myself when having to pay extra because my bag weighs 1lb over the 50lb limit, when i weigh probably 20% less than the median passenger weight. why can't i apply some of that surplus to my suitcase? doesn't it all go on the same plane??) i mean, if the question is how much fuel it takes to fly the plane, that seems like the fairest way to spread out the cost, in terms of paying for what you use.

but, as it turns out, what airlines charge for bags is almost entirely dependent on the market price and INdependent of what it actually costs the airlines to load, fly, and unload your bags. i haven't noticed a decline in ticket prices on airlines that charge for bags; in fact, Southwest (which doesn't charge) consistently has lower ticket prices than AA or Delta (which do). i'm with you on not checking bags when i fly, but i feel i get paid for that in convenience, so i do that whether or not the airline charges.