LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Some major airlines are now offering extra low fares to compete with low-cost carriers, like Spirit and Allegiant.
They include being the last to board the plane, no picking your own seats, no access to overhead bins, no upgrades and paying to check carry-ons if they don’t fit under the seats.
By 2020, United expects to score an additional billion dollars annually by attracting fare-focused travelers.
These restrictive bargain tickets come as low-fare carriers step up their game to compete for customers.
For a roundtrip nonstop flight from Chicago to Los Angeles leaving the first week of March, Spirit’s “bare fare” is $22 cheaper than United and around $100 lower than American Airline’s best price.
“They’ve got to wring every nickel out of the consumer with all these new fees,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “They charge you when you store a luggage. They shouldn’t charge you for the overhead bins, plain and simple.”
The lawmaker is calling for legislation to keep the overhead compartment free.
Sean Kennedy represents the airlines and said the bin-less fares give passengers a new way to save.
“If customers don’t like this product, customers won’t use it,” Kennedy added. “An airline is offering a cheaper product for customers that want to fly that are budget-conscience, that want to find the lowest way to get from point A to point B, I’m not sure why there be controversy about that.”
Studies show the vast majority of passengers book based solely on price.