It is a copycat world out there: But is this a fee coming to an airport near you soon?
Effective next Wednesday, Ryanair passengers who fail to print out a boarding pass at home and present it at check in will be charged a £40 (or 40 Euro) "boarding card reissue fee." The company is replacing its £10 airport check in fee with a £5 online check in fee.
By October 1, the airline will eliminate check in desks at its various airports. We have a sneaky supsicion that in the not too distant future, US airlines will charge passengers a fee if they do not check in for their flights either at home or by using an automated airport kiosk. Just a hunch. After all, United and US Airways just announced $5 fees for not checking bags in on line before leaving home.
Clearly, checking in with a real live person costs airlines money. If you do it all yourself, including paying for your bags and dropping them off in the luggage chute without human intervention, the airlines can eliminate staff and speed the check in process. Why wouldn't they do this?
So, while airlines think of new schemes, hopefully hotels will not!
"Effective next Wednesday, Ryanair passengers who fail to print out a boarding pass at home and present it at check in will be charged a £40 (or 40 Euro) "boarding card reissue fee."
From rollover minutes to rollover nights, it is definitely a 'copycat world.' Last year, WIRED Magazine editor, Chris Anderson wrote a series of controversial articles with the premise, 'FREE. Why $0.00 is the future of business.'*
The frontrunning discount airline in Europe, Ryanair was among the companies, Anderson used to illustrate his thesis. Ryanair advertises a $20 fare from London to Barcelona and passengers queue up for the low ticket price. $20 is not free, but in the eyes of a traveler, $20 is a bargain and next to $0 - no matter how you spin it.
'How can Air Travel be Free?", Anderson asks rhetorically. He uses the graphic below to show the Ryanair business model, and how the airline recoups the actual cost of $70 to fly a passenger from London to Barcelona:
Chart: Steven Leckart; Chart design: Nicholas Felton; Sources: Inviseomedia, Ryanair
As far as Ryanair's £40 reissue fee, well that's increased profit.
"So, while airlines think of new schemes, hopefully hotels will not!"
Actually, they have. The 'sticker' analogy is not very far off. The 2009 Marriott Rewards changes triggered the biggest dose of 'sticker shock' we've seen in long time.
Maybe it's too radical, but I would love to check-in to my hotel on line and just breeze in and pickup my key and not have to waste time on the specially carpeted elite line. Just once, i would like not to have the special services and breakfast hours recited to me when I check-in to a Residence Inn. Once you know how it works, it should work exactly the same way everywhere (which is not always true). I appreciate when the hotel notices I have stayed there before and just tells me what has changed not the whole laundry list.
Hilton offers e-check in. About 36 hours before your reservation, you receive an email letting you know you can check in online and even pick your room. I just stop by the front desk to pick up my key on arrival and don't even have to show a credit card. And, boy, the goody bag in your room (Diamond members)... the folks in your office will love you!!!
Online hotel check-in would be a GREAT feature, in my opinion, especially if i can use my Blackberry to do it
I stay at the courtyard in Bowling Green Kentucky on a regular basis and we are beyond the breakfast times, they tell me what is going on in town or what tickets they can get for me on short notice.