Can you imagine going to the movie theater and only being able to buy a ticket that included the price of large popcorn and a drink, even if you hated popcorn? Or maybe going out to dinner, only to receive the bill and find out that you were charged for dessert, even though you didn’t order it.
Consumers are unique in their preferences, likes and dislikes, and personal necessities. That’s why giving consumers the power of choice is so important. With choice, we pay for the things we want and avoid purchasing – or subsidizing purchases by others – the things we don’t. If something isn’t a priority for us, we can choose not to spend our money on it. That same logic applies to airline tickets.
Some airlines offer fares that give consumers greater choice over their travel purchase. While some passengers may want to check a bag, not every passenger does, and those who don’t should not have to pay for the handling of a bag they would prefer to leave at home. Similarly, if you prefer to travel light, overhead bin space might not be something you need or want. In this case, it may make sense to choose a no-frills, lower fare, to ensure you’re only spending money on space you will actually use.
These expanded fare and service options allow each consumer to customize their unique travel experience, personalized to fit their needs and budget. Travelers’ preferences are not one-size-fits-all, and expanded fare options in a competitive marketplace reflect that. Customers have a choice of airlines, prices and service options based on what they value, and what they’re willing to pay for.
According to an Ipsos Public Affairs survey, released in 2016 and commissioned by Airlines for America, two-thirds of passengers reported that they prefer à la carte pricing for tickets over bundled pricing – paying only for the services they want. And because 86 percent of those surveyed said that price was the most important factor when deciding to fly, the new, no-frills fares give these customers the power to choose what they value and make air travel accessible to even more people than ever before.
U.S. airlines are continuously investing in the customer experience, including more state-of-the-art planes, expanded route networks, better wifi and inflight entertainment, and innovative pricing models that fit every budget. Air travel is no longer only available to an elite few – now everyone has the opportunity to explore the world.