Traveling has become a more cumbersome and eye rolling experience in the past decade or so. Since after 9/11 there have been new guidelines and rules set by the airliners and government. This has lead to some backlash and yet prices have stayed steady for a good amount of time. This is changing with airliners experimenting with piecemeal service for consumers. This is already evident with the news that United Airlines will now be introducing a new ticket bracket entitled “Basic Economy” which will ban the use of overhead bins. Yes. Overhead bins.
As someone who has been a consistent traveler for quite sometime this is one of the most interesting new way an airline has attempted to make money in recent memory. There is a drive to gain more from consumers, but with now having priority access, priority seating, economy plus, and snacks costing money, this was not something I honestly saw coming. It is said this will gain the airline about an extra $1 billion in the next four years which is quite a large sum for such a huge inconvenience. As the price of gas increases and unions become stricter on their employees it seems that airlines are trying to become more strategic and creative in their thought process. There is absolutely an understanding of where this is coming from, but in reality this will turn to people focusing more on traveling via budget airliners and avoiding the hassle of the big name brands.
What makes this new policy even more damning is the fact that this could in turn become a new way of doing business for many of the larger airliners, making the use of overhead bins a coveted luxury only reserved for those willing to pay more money for a usually free amenity. Then again it is now become the norm for them to charge for pillows, headphones, basic snacks, and of course WiFi. At the end of the day most people are not frequent flyers, therefore the markup will generally turn it into an eye roll and a few mumbles, but nothing for. This is something that is making me more than just mumble, especially with a busy holiday season dawning on me currently. Here is to hopefully not having to pay more for that window seat, Coke product, or even use of the bathroom. I hope I just didn’t give United some more ideas.