Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Let Us Slip This By You

Wizz Air, now the largest low-cost, low-fare airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced it will start testing a new cabin baggage policy from August 1, 2012. The premise is that it will enhance on-time performance and improve customer experience during aircraft boarding. Insert here, "It will increase our revenues substantially." The 'test' is scheduled to begin in August on all flights from London Luton to Katowice and in the opposite direction. In order for them to enhance our flying experience, they will be charging for hand baggage, the same hand baggage they now make us stuff into small metal templates at the check-in desk and make us put on the scale besides.
What they will be offering is allowing a free small cabin bag or pay a €10 online fee to bring a large cabin bag on board. The ''free small cabin bag" is a purse, briefcase, or laptop bag. Anything larger is considered a large bag. Their claim is that the limited space on board causes too many carry-on bags having to be off-loaded and put in cargo. The simple solution to this would be to reduce the fees for checked luggage and then travelers would not feel the need to stuff it all on board.
The secondary reason they are trying to promote is that it is inconvenient to families with small children and the elderly. Well, if you are inconvenienced by this, you should not have bought a budget airline ticket.

Here is where some truth is revealed. Less weight in the cabin will also result in less fuel burn, reduce costs and protect the environment.You can rest assured that the savings is not going to be passed on to the consumer.

Goods purchased at the airport (an important source of revenue for Wizz Air’s 78 airport partners) will continue to be allowed in the cabin for free.

This is a joke right? The underlined words are mine to stimulate your thinking.
"We believe an online fee as low as €10 for large cabin baggage will encourage most passengers to bring only one small cabin bag that could easily fit under the seat. Wizz Air pioneers in returning consumer friendliness to low cost air travel: our customers praise Wizz Air’s helpful and friendly crews and products tailored for families, such as the Wizz Xclusive Club. Wizz Air will now improve the least popular part of flying – the often stressful and inconvenient boarding process. If the trial proves successful this new cabin baggage policy will be rolled out through the entire Wizz Air network" said Daniel de Carvalho, Corporate Communications Manager at Wizz Air.

At what point do we demote an airline from the BUDGET category?  Their Xclusive Club comes with a fee, but not many perks, hardly something a family would care about.
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