For United Airlines, new bag-sizing boxes at many airports has many passengers cringing as they approach security.
The airline has now enforced limits on the size of carry-on bags in an effort to crack down on passengers toting massive suitcases.
Passengers whose bags are too large must bring them to the ticket counter and shell out $25 for each piece of checked luggage.
Checkpoint bag sizers are nothing in airports, but United’s enforcement is frustrating passengers.
The Star Tribune reports that United earns $638 million in checked-bag fees yearly, and hopes to raise revenue through tactics like this.
This prompts the question if this measure’s introduction is more to consider passenger comfort on cramped planes – or to generate more income to United Airlines, already reaping revenue through additional fees.
The latter option appears more relevant.
Frustrated passengers have hit social media to air their rants.
ABC News shows the kiosks that indicate to passengers if their bags can fit in the allotted size requirements.
As the video suggests, a United Airlines statement indicated that this is being implemented to remind “customers of the regulatory limits on the size and number of bags they can bring on board.”
Consumerist writes that United Airlines hopes to expedite the boarding process, but one must wonder if that is a simple excuse for this more-enforced procedure.
The Points Guy blog offers suggestions on how to cope with this enforcement.
Passengers are paying for features and once-expected perks of travel, making the idea of flying more of a hassle than a leisurely experience.
Remember the days of everyone dining for free or having the same amount of legroom at no extra charge?
Those times are distant memories.
This example by United Airlines suggests that not only are airlines out of touch with passenger needs and comforts, but also solely focused on making money in this struggling economy.
Even if that means alienating the only customers you possess.
Yes, airlines must adapt to keep high passenger approval ratings and its finances balanced, but other options should be considered before messing with check-on bags, which we have all taken for granted – until now.
How about fining passengers who fail to follow the “turn-off-your-electronics” guideline?
Now that would charge up passengers’ frustration levels to new altitudes.
Will the checked-bag measure change your mind on flying United the next time you take to the skies? Share your thoughts.
– Brett Nachman