Ryanair is well known for making it onto this blog for having crazy ideas on how to cut costs, increase fees, and turn the airline pricing system on its head. I even started giving out “More Crazy Than Ryanair Awards’ to showcase moves that would make even Ryanair proud.
All of the complaints passengers seem to have about airlines having less room, having crazy fees, charging for food, or lacking customer service seem to go out the window when it comes to paying for a flight. While booking most flights, passengers will have a choice of which carrier to fly. Passengers have an option to pay more for additional room or choose an airline that might provide food or even a movie. At the actual moment of whipping out the credit card, it seems a lot of people stop caring about the amenities their flight will have and more about the bottom line.
Airlines like Ryanair, EasyJet, and Spring Airlines started out with the initial concept that Southwest Airlines started so long ago (common fleet, low prices, unique cost-cutting approaches). However, these budget airline have taken the concept to the next level and it seems to work (Ryanair just posted 18% ridership gain for June 2009 compared to June 2008).
I am sure airlines in America will sooner or later try some of the crazier ideas that have worked in Europe and might be working in Asia soon. Are Americans as open to saving more money no matter what the sacrifice? It seemed they were when Southwest came around, but how much of a cut are people willing to make before it goes too far?Image: Peter Diego