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Subject:  Re: Poll: Pay-by-pound passenger airline travel? Date:  5/26/2008  2:42 PM
Author:  salaryguru Number:  12588 of 116344

. . .modern air travel is just a bus ride at altitude nowadays.

Actually, I think you're being generous. Surely bus travel isn't as bad as air travel today. I just got back from a 3 week trip that took me to airports from Phoenix - Newark - Tel Aviv - Kracov - Warsaw - Wroclaw - Warsaw - Amsterdam - Houston - Phoenix. I think I spent about 50 or 60 hours in airplanes and airports being herded into one passenger holding area after another, packing and unpacking for security screens, emptying and filling my pockets, taking my belt off and on, pulling my laptop in and out, juggling my belongings while I proceeded to and from the metal detector, . . . Air travel today is miserable.

Regarding the pay-by-weight, there are practical reasons why this will never happen. You couldn't pay for your ticket until you arrived at the airport and weighed in. Having every passenger step on the scale and hand over their credit card would make air travel even more unbearable. Even if you had passengers step on the scale with their luggage, I think many people would object to this practice as yet another abuse to bear.

I don't know what the solution is, but airlines haven't figured out how to be profitable yet. They've been at it for decades, but they don't make money. I can't see how further abuse of the customer is going to help them, though. People want to travel. Almost all the planes I was on during recent trips were full (the flights within Poland are the exception). So there seems to be plenty of demand. Yet the airlines can't make money. If they can't control other costs, they need to raise ticket prices. I don't see how charging passengers based on their weight helps them make more money unless they charge more (based on the average weight passenger) than they currently charge. Why not simply charge more for the ticket and avoid the awkward required weigh-in process?
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