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United’s Innovative Fare Plan (Maybe)

A United executive outlined plans for a new "base fare" scheme where customers would pay a lower "base" fare for a flight that did not include many elements now bundled into the price.  For example, you would now have the option to pay a bit extra for frequent flyer miles, seat assignment, or checking bags.  The plan, which echoes similar moves by Air Canada and other European carriers, has not yet been formalized, but (as I’ve written here before) this is the future of airline pricing.  I think that in the end consumers will grow to like it — your fare now includes the price of checking a bag whether you check a bag or not.  I’m sure we’ll hear griping soon enough, though…

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  1. Yeah, I started a discussion topic in the “mileage buzz” portion of Flyertalk yesterday about this. You can read all the gripes there. :

  2. If you think we could make money doing it, I’d be happy to run the first OTR conference.

    I don’t think people should be complaining. The fact is, all of the stuff they’re asking you to pay for is bundled into the fare. They’ll just strip it out of the fare so you’re only paying for what you use. Times have changed, and while everyone liked all the frills, no one was willing to pay for them (which is part of the reason for all the bankruptcies). People just like to complain…

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