It’ll be Everywhere Soon

By | September 14, 2006

We read through USAToday’s Today in the Sky blog this afternoon and paused with some amusement when we came across this post. Flybe, a low-cost carrier in Europe, could start charging people for checking in at the counter. They believe the cost would be justified since most of the passengers can check in free online.

Considering the increasing presence of self-service kiosks at airports, we think this idea is going to catch on. Like many transactions covered at counters…if you had a choice about where to check in, you would get charged. The fee would likely be waived for circumstances under which it was not possible. There are bound to be some of these. For example, disabled passengers requiring assistance might need counter check-in.

Do not think for a moment we approve of charging people for basic service. We prefer it when a company encourages behavior through incentives. For example, companies that will give you extra frequent flyer points/miles if you check in on their website(not that miles mean as much nowadays). Rewarding for good behavior rather than penalizing is the basis for a good relationship.

Which sounds better: “If you check in at the counter, there will be a $5 charge.” or… “If you use one of our self-service kiosks, we’ll offer you a $5 discount.”?

Charging people for the reassurance of a human being involved in their process seems excessive. But people are willing to pay more for service, and companies are catching on to that. At some point that would have meant increasing service to increase customer satisfaction. But now, it is finding alternative revenue streams as increasing fuel costs eat into profits. Be it strictness on luggage policies and charging excesses, fees for checking in bags, fees for counter check-in, etc. We admire companies that stand by customer service as part of their policy and philosophy. We try to give them our business.

Author: Guru

Guru is the Editor of Flight Wisdom and a long time aviation enthusiast.

One thought on “It’ll be Everywhere Soon

  1. Small Town Boy

    Alternatively, they could do what Ticketmaster does and charge you more for services that cost them less. It’s outrageous that Ticketmaster charges you a fee to print out your own tickets. Don’t be surprised if airlines start charging a fee to print your own boarding passes.

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