Old Jun 28, 17, 11:54 pm
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: LHR, HKG
Programs: oneworld, gate lice, tsa hater, neoliberal elitist
Posts: 314
Originally Posted by cbn42 View Post
The government is making a fuss about this because the airlines are unable to handle it. To me, it is simple human decency to make sure a child can sit next to a parent, but the airlines would rather monetize the cabin in a way that forces the family to pay extra to avoid being separated. There were enough incidents that got bad publicity, so Congress decided to intervene. I don't feel sorry for the airlines, they brought this on themselves due to excessive greed.
It's less about greed than it is about economics. Airlines are businesses.

Travel classes didn't take hold until the 70s. Airlines didn't even charge separate fares for the same seats on the same flight until the early 50s -- and when they did, it was usually just two different fares: "standard class" and "tourist class". Of course, airlines needed to differentiate the two products in other to compel certain travelers (mainly businesspeople) to buy the pricier tickets. Standard class tickets could be purchased at the airport and you could sit at the front of the plane; tourist class tickets had to be purchased in advance.

Fast forward to now, and you've got as many fare codes as you've got letters in the alphabet. Why? Not because airlines are greedy -- but to cater to travelers with various budgets. And that's what precisely has happened in the past few decades: more and more Americans can afford to fly. Obviously, people who pay for J should have an incentive to do so compared to the much cheaper cost of Y -- flat-beds and multi-course meals, for example.

The same applies to people flying the same class as well. Why should someone pay for full-fare Y as opposed to basic Y? Because of seat selection, mileage and points, flexibility, number of carry-ons, etc...

And that has less to do with the greed of the airline than it has to do with the greed of the consumer. Consumers want cheaper and cheaper fares, but they want to maintain the same level of service of air travel in the 70s. That's simply not happening. Airlines are essentially forced to unbundle their fares -- charge separately for every part of the travel experience, because they can't compete on travel search websites without doing so. There are a lot of people out there who would take an extra stop to save $20.

Airlines don't really make a profit on the lower-end Y fares -- essentially, if you buy a ridiculously cheap ticket, your trip is being subsidized by F, J, and full-fare Y pax. And in return, they get perks that you don't. One of those now includes seating choices in advance. If I happen to buy a pricier fare, or pay to choose my seat in advance -- and someone wants me to sit in an inferior seat just so they can be with their kid -- NO WAY.

You pay for what you get. Families shouldn't be treated any differently. If they want their travel experience to be smoother, they should fork up money for F/J/more expensive Y classes. You can't book a room at the Holiday Inn and expect the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton.

I turn 17 next month and I've flown around 300,000 miles in my lifetime. That's nothing compared to most of my FTers here, but a good number of those miles were on trips I took before I even became a teenager, and I managed to survive long-hauls without sitting next to my parents. It's hardly necessary for kids to sit next to their parents unless they're bawling infants who need to be calmed down for the sake of everyone else in the cabin.

Last edited by leungy18; Jun 29, 17 at 12:04 am
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