Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More bad news for business travelers

This won't surprise anyone who has flown recently...or in the past year or two, for that matter...but US Airways will soon end free drink service on its flights. Soda, fruit juice, coffee, and bottled water, all of which were free, will cost $2 each when the fee goes into effect August 18. Unfortunately, there really is no shortcut around the beverage charges since you can't bring liquids (including drinks) through security. You can buy them once you get through security, but it's a lot more expensive than it would be to bring your own. Apparently, US Airways is also raising the price of alcoholic drinks as well. Of course, the price hikes are part of the airline industry's response to the rising cost of fuel and the sluggish economy. Many airlines are charging extra to check a second piece of luggage, then decided to tack on an extra charge for the first bag. This in addition to the myriad other charges flyers incur these days, including curbside check-in and meals.

My question to those of you who fly regularly to visit clients is this: Are you passing the costs on to your customers? How are you getting around the fact that it costs more to travel, either by car or by plane? Let us know!


1 comment:

Justin said...

Interesting post Ed. I used to pride myself on being a very loyal customer to a certain airline, and would even spend an extra few bucks on a ticket, knowing the level of service I would receive. However, since they (yes, I am grouping all airlines in here) started charging for every bag checked, I have found myself looking into other airlines, Southwest and JetBlue being the top two.

I did see an interesting commercial on television the other week where JetBlue was advertising their service (free checked bags and complimentary beverages and snacks). I wonder how long that will last.

In regards to your question here. No, we here at SullivanKreiss have not passed any of the additional costs onto our clients. With careful planning (and a long list of airlines in my internet favorites), you can still find a reasonable flight. Granted you may have to fly out a few hours earlier than before, but I would rather sit in a coffee shop for an hour than pass the extra $100 onto my client. With wireless internet, a traveler does not even have to miss a beat when they are out of the office.

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