Is the rising airline ancillary revenue a reflection of inappropriate service?

This is one statistical figure which an airline would best not tell others as an achievement. Ancillary revenue is a term which signifies the income of an airlines earned by selling products or charging for those services which are required at the ground, during the course of flight and even afterwards. This usually includes the charges for meals and snacks, baggage fees and a number of other such amenities which were earlier provided for free. The upward scaling of ancillary revenue has been sought by the low cost carrier as well as full service carriers as they face increasing demand for low cost flight tickets and are providing the economical air tickets, while charging for other ones.

It is interesting to note that the American carriers have been far ahead of others when it comes to accumulation of ancillary revenues. While they count on these as their achievement, there is another perspective to it. The figures tell us that the customers are in dire need of the services and products which were earlier supplied free to them but are now charged for. And, the American airlines are rather lacking the customer focus and are not willing to understand the exact needs of the customer. On this score, the airlines from the Asian subcontinent have been doing rather well since these do not boast of their ancillary revenues and are also featuring in top ranks in Skytrax ratings which means that the customers are not being charged for many of the services.

So, is the rising airline ancillary revenue really a good thing? Does it not tell us about the sorry state of affairs for the passengers who buy flight tickets only for getting the seat? Airlines also have their own viewpoint. They contend that by using this segmented pricing approach, they are giving the customers more options to choose from and to spend their money on, rather than merely taking what the airline is offering inclusive in the price of air tickets.

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