Wednesday, July 09, 2008

And just after I had a good experience, too 

I certainly have been critical in the past of Northwest, but can tell you last week's trip went relatively well. My flight out of St. Cloud was cancelled, but early enough to have NWA send me down in a cab to the Cities in time for the flight. (Of course, while in the cab they had rebooked me for the flight the next day, the reservations people and the gate personnel not knowing what each other were doing. But this was handled quickly and efficiently.) After that, no problems at all if you don't count the breaking of my suitcase ... as if that's the first time THAT had happened.

Well now I get to pay $15 for the chance for them to break my bag again. Along with 2,500 in layoffs comes this lovely news:
Northwest also says it will begin charging $15 for the first checked bag, matching a fee added by other carriers this year. And the airline says it will begin charging a fee for frequent-flier award tickets -- from $25 for domestic tickets to $100 for flights to Asia.

The company says those measures should increase revenues by as much as $300 million a year.
Consider this a minute -- who does this hurt more? The business traveler typically does not have a checked bag. So the leisure traveler is taking the brunt of the bag charge. The miles thing is less clear -- I am inclined to think ff miles are more the perk of business travelers who are allowed to keep them, but are used for leisure travel. Given the price of substitutes have gone up for the vacationer, I can see this as a reasonable strategy. Other airlines have been doing the same thing on the frequent flyer award travel, but the bag charge seems to be new.

I'll bring fewer, or smaller, gifts back from my next stop.

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