Are Airlines Following the Model of Hotels?

Is it rather odd that one can spend as little as $50.00 for a room at a property such as a Hampton Inn and receive such amenities as free continental breakfast, free Internet service and free local telephone calls; yet if one stays at a Hilton hotel for $150.00, those amenities are not included but rather only available for an extra charge?

Interestingly, both Hampton Inn and Hilton are part of the Hilton Worldwide family of properties. However, Hilton is only being used as an example, as many global lodging companies practice similar policies between their lower-end and higher-end brands.

Now the larger airlines are charging for what seems to be a fee for anything that is not bolted down, yet certain low-cost airlines offer the same services and products for no extra charge to the airfare.

Is this sustainable?

Given, the legacy carriers offer a number of products and services not offered by some low-cost carriers, such as an extensive route network, upgrades, international destinations and increased frequency of flights on many routes. Similarly, higher-end hotel properties offer concierge services, more toiletries in each room, turn-down service and valet parking.

Does the user experience at higher-end lodging properties and legacy airlines significantly surpass that of their lower-end counterparts? Even if it does, is it worth all of the additional fees levied on their customers in recent years on top of their already-higher costs?

It is possible to get a reasonably comfortable seat on a low-cost carrier, as well as a reasonably comfortable bed in which to sleep at a lower-end lodging property. With the advent of ancillary fees, are legacy airlines and higher-end hotel properties “nickling and diming” their customers away and driving them to the lower-cost options?

Because of increased prices and ancillary fees, are the lower-cost options no longer for those who view airlines only as a means of transportation and lodging only as a place to sleep?


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