|As the CEO of CellAntenna Corporation, I extensively travel around the country and around the world. The latest moves by the airlines to try to increase their revenue base to avert disaster as a result of the rise of fuel cost does not go unnoticed. Airlines have now gone too far as far as I see it, with charging money for services they use to offer for free, in order not to raise the basic rates they charge. Of course a more honest approach would be if they would only raise the fares they charge to customers but that would be like gas stations rounding up the price of gasoline from the usual 3.999/10 to 4.00. Delta airlines recently announced that they will charge $50 per 2nd bag, and other airlines charge for each bag, if you want a reserved seat. On board the flights, you get substandard food, and even get charged if you need a glass of water! What will they think of next? I have come up with a reasonable list of items they can now institute to increase their bottom line and take their companies out of the red and into the black ( or is it the other way around?).
1. Charge each customer by the pound. Airlines should have a scale at the ticket counter where the customer and their luggage are placed on. The maximum allowable total weight eye customer + baggage cannot exceed 175 lbs. After that you get charge $2 per pound. The basis behind this is the fact that airlines say that the extra weight of baggage is costing them additional fuel charges. IF that is the case, a lighter person should pay less, and a heavier person should pay more. Fair is fair. It would b important to confirm the weight immediately prior to the customer boarding the aircraft incase he or she may of added weight by consuming beverages and food at the food courts prior to boarding. Similarly, exercise rooms should b placed near the jet ways where if the customer has an increase they can work it off and save fuel doing it.
2. Charge for Landings. Takeoffs are free. I like this one. The hat gets passed around the plane and if there is enough funds, the plane lands. It puts the pressure on the passengers who want to get somewhere onetime, and takes the pressure off the airline who can simply slow down and wait.
3. Charge for people breathing in oxygen. A natural for those low cost airlines that charge you for everything from the seat assignments and pushing in front of other people waiting in line.
4. Manufacture license plates while in Flight. Flying can be boring especially for those long distance flights where there is nothing to do. Forcing passengers to do something useful for a change will not only be good for them, but give the airline a revenue producing center they never thought of before. Aside from License plates, passengers can have the choice of making other stuff, like stuffing bears, making running shoes, or even calling other future passengers telling them that their flight is delayed. The airline can save millions on this idea.
5. Charge First Class passengers more and economy passengers less : This is inline with Obama’s new screw those rich bastard plan. Reducing the cost of a ticket for those who cannot afford to fly by raising the tickets of the wealthy in this country makes a lot of sense for those social democrats that live in San Francisco. Obama also has suggested that Airlines inflate their tires more to save fuel on taxing and takeoffs.
6. Cut off one engine when in flight. This conserves energy by lowering fuel consumption while increasing the heat generated inside the plane caused by nervous passengers worried about flying at lower altitudes due to one engine. At the same time, passengers can be fed beans and the resulting increase in heat and methane can be used to power the generator on the plane keeping the lights on in the cabin during the flight.
7. Force passengers to load their own luggage onto the airplane. This saves the carrier a lot of money since they will not require any of those baggage handlers that always mishandle baggage anyway. As well, those passengers that have little disregard for the weight of the bags will have to schlep the bags and learn a lesson. This goes hand in hand with forcing passengers to clean up the plane and service the bathroom. I also thought of charging 10 cents for use of the bathroom, but this would only result in those cheap passengers soiling seats, however charging for soiled seats would increase the revenue at the bathroom. I also thought about removing the chemical toilets on planes altogether and allow the free fall of humane waste. This was how it used to be anyway….at least that is what we were told when we were kids.
8. Signs behind planes. The FAA could allow airliners to pull those signs commonly seen on small planes that constantly go up and down beaches or circle stadiums during football games. Each plane when taking from an airport would be required to circle a beach, stadium or other important event thereby adding additional revenue to the airlines. For extra money, people can arrange to have those great signs like ” Will You Marry Me Rebecca” or “Happy Birthday Julie” signs pulled from coast to coast.
9. Flight Attendants to Give Massages : Virgin Atlantic used to provide this service for free to upper class passengers. ( leave it to the brits to make you feel superior to lose lower class passengers) . This service charged to passengers would provide alternative sources of revenue, as well as allow flight attendants to make some extra money on the side, settling any problems associated with the lowering of their salary as the airlines look for more ways of saving money. Part of this plan would allow flight attendants to charge for services, on a pay as you ring plan. The first question you ask would be free, and then a $10 charge for every question thereafter. This will ultimately reduce those nagging questions from passengers like ” Can I have a pillow” or ” where is the filght sickness bag”.
10. Crop Dusting and Fire Fighting: Airlines can charge farmers to crop dust at the same time of flying those routes that no airline can make money flying, like between Schroon lake and Plattsburg, or Sedona and Flagstaff. Any airline flying into California can bring along a tank full of flame retardant liquid that they can drop over the many fires in the forests of California. While flying low over crops and fires, the passengers on board can be charged a special fee for the ‘tour’ .
11. Take off only when the plane is full : I got this idea while in the taxi of one of this drivers in the Caribbean port on a cruise ship. The taxi had 12 seats and the driver waited until all seats were filled before deciding to go to the beach. There should be no pressure on any airline to take off unless every seat is taken. Passengers should be allowed to do what I was allowed to do, and that is, pay the driver, in this case the pilot, extra money for those seats that are not filled, so that the airline can take off on time.
12. Allow seat sharing : Airlines can increase their revenue by allowing some passengers to stand part of the way while others are seating and then halfway on the trip they can exchange. Special standing belts will be required of course.
13. Charge for Seatbelt Demonstration : I think that if you don’t know how to work the seatbelt, and need to be shown how to do it, you should compensate the airline for it.Of course the airlines will find other ways in which to increase their revenue instead of raising the price of the ticket as they continue to try to hide the cost of plane travel. As a passenger consider the fact that not only do you have less choices of who to fly with, but at the same time, you are getting the “royal” treatment by whatever airline you happen to pick.
If you have any other suggestions please let me know and I will include them in this article.