Hearing that an airline is increasing fees doesn’t really mean much anymore, since it is common news. It has worked out well for airlines to increase their profits and although passengers complain, they continue to pay them.
Alaska Airlines is planning to increase their checked bag and change fees near the end of this year. The new change fee will go from $75 online and $100 over the phone to $125. Passengers who make their changes 60 or more days before departure will receive no extra fees.
Currently, a checked bag will cost $20, but that will be increased to $25. A bigger increase are additional bags which will go from $20 per bag to $25 to a second bag and then $75 per bag after that. However, with the increased fees, Alaska is sweetening their Baggage Service Guarantee.
Unique to Alaska Airlines, if your bag does not arrive at the luggage carousel with-in 20 minutes of your aircraft arriving to the gate, you will receive a reward of sorts. Either a $20 discount code for future Alaska Airlines flight or 2,000 Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan bonus miles. As Alaska increases their fees, they will also increase the amount passengers will receive. The time still remains at 20 minutes, but if a bag does not make it in time, passengers will get either a $25 discount code or 2,500 Mileage Plan Miles.
Being based in Seattle, I have put this guarantee to the test over and over again [probably about 15 times at this point] at different airports. Each and every-time, the bag shows up before the 20 minute mark. To be honest, I have been hoping for at least once it not making it, so I could see how easy it would be to redeem the discount code. One time my bag made it in 19min 30seconds, but once again, it was still on time.
I do not think any passengers like increased fees, but I have to say that the Baggage Guarantee is smart… very smart. It allows the customer to feel that they are getting something more than just a bag from point A to B. They know that either their bag will waiting for them or their fee [on the most part] gets returned to them.
It is estimated that the new fees will increase revenue by $50million for Alaska, which is nothing to sneeze at. Even with these increases, Alaska’s fees are still below most other major airline’s fees.
|This story written by… David Parker Brown, Editor & Founder.David started AirlineReporter.com in the summer of 2008, but has had a passion for aviation since he was a kid. Born and raised in the Seattle area (where he is currently based) has surely had an influence and he couldn’t imagine living anywhere else in the world.|