A new survey shows the airlines have lost $5.8 billion so far this winter. The airlines have grappled with canceled flights, increasing fuel and maintenance costs and other issues related to the frigid, stormy weather.
Purdue University retail expert Dr. Richard Feinberg says that means they’re going to be passing the higher costs on to air travelers. Some airlines are already cutting bereavement fares, devaluing frequent flyer miles by almost 15% and getting tougher on passengers with over sized bags by sending them back to ticket counters to check their bags for possibly higher fees.
Feinberg says the frequent flyer policy mainly affects business travelers.
“The most profitable consumer for the airline is the business flyer, not the occasional traveler who is always looking for the cheapest fare,” Feinberg said. “When a bsuiness flyer has to fly they’re going to pay whatever they have to pay to get wherever they need to be.”
Feinberg says even though U.S. Air and American Airlines are merging, smaller, lower cost airlines will develop and create alternatives.