MP in the News: NYT on Airline "Extras" Package Subscriptions

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by NYCUA1K, Oct 11, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Interesting piece in which the expertise of Gary Leff (MP) and Brian Kelly (TPG) is quoted and the associated sites mentioned. I think that the advice that the piece offers is basically sound, as it should be since this is the NYT...right?;)

    Airline Extras at a Package Rate
    Are airlines taking a cue from magazines, Netflix, even Internet and cable packages?

    This summer United Airlines introduced yearlong baggage subscriptions (check up to two bags on all your flights within the continental United States, starting at $349) and Economy Plus subscriptions (more-legroom seats on all your flights, starting at $499) that you can also give as gifts. In September, Delta rolled out its own subscription program, Smart Travel Pack ($199), which gives fliers features like priority boarding and preferred seats on each flight they take through Jan. 5. And if you regularly fly American Airlines, you know that last year the airline began bundling amenities, like no change fees and in-flight beverages, into a variety of “choice” fares.

    “This really is what the cable companies do,” said Gary Leff, a founder of Milepoint, a frequent-flier forum, and the mileage-award booking service

    Airlines are experimenting with subscriptions and bundles at a time when they are raking in money thanks to fees for à la carte add-ons like early boarding and roomier seats. Their collective ancillary revenue from these amenities is now more than $27.1 billion, more than doubling since 2009, according to a new report by IdeaWorksCompany, a consulting company.

    If you’re frequently checking bags and buying seats with more legroom, a subscription may sound tempting. But does it pay to join? Here’s how to figure it out.

    Continue reading...
    Sean Colahan, gleff and uggboy like this.
  2. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Great article and great analysts by Gary and Brian.
    gleff and NYCUA1K like this.
  3. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    I think Stephanie Rosenbloom does a nice job with the piece -- it's a reasonably complicated topic, not just airline fees but making sense of the various bundles of fees and when those bundles make sense for a traveler to consider. You can give the best advice and analysis in the world to the reporter you're talking to, that's usually not what determines whether the piece is going to offer good advice and analysis. ;)
    Sean Colahan likes this.

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