Travel News

The Preferred Seat Hoax: How Airlines Are Charging More to Book the Same Seats

Locations in this article:  Los Angeles, CA Miami, FL

PG: And speaking of a whole other level: the early boarding fee! I mean the bottom line is why would I pay an extra $18 dollars to board early? I might consider doing that only if I have two big carryon bags that want to shove my bags in the overhead compartment before everyone else gets on.

SM: So in order to avoid the check bag fee you pay the early boarding fee? Maybe you’re $7 ahead, if that. There isn’t enough overhead bin space for all the stuff that gets brought on the airplane. Airlines are trying to cram more seats in planes that weren’t equipped properly.

PG: I was on a Delta flight 3 months ago from New York to Los Angeles in which I counted 53 bags in the jetway that couldn’t get fit onto the plane. There were many passengers who did pay for the airline to check in their bags, but everyone who got to the gate could sneak in their bags and not have to pay.

SM: The industry hasn’t figured out that because of those 53 bags that flight is going to end up being late.

PG: That flight was 22 minutes late!

SM: Yeah, so that’s costing Delta money. Spirit’s answer for that was to charge everyone a fee for putting something in the overhead bin so that it’s actually cheaper to check a bag than it is to carry it on and they’ve shaved about 5 min off every flight in their schedule just because they aren’t checking bags in at the gate anymore.

Are you paying for preferred seats? Do you think it’s worth the extra money or do you feel nickel and dimed? Sound off in the comments.

For more information about ancillary fees, check out:

By Peter Greenberg for Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio

Image Credit: Big Stock