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Airline companies can think of anything to squeeze money

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Mar-2006 08:41

I remember a few years ago the company I worked for had a policy in place which allowed anyone on flights longer than six hour to request this to be upgraded to business class. Of course, during the late 90s and early 00s the company took this "privilege" out of reach of employees (I am pretty sure top level general managers still had that though). Back to the airlines, a few years ago Air New Zealand introduced the "fuel surcharge". It bothered me all the time because the fuel is part of the cost of operating a transport company, and it should be part of the ticket price presented to the traveller. But how could Air New Zealand (and any other flight operator) present those nice "cheap" fares without the very tiny conditions, including fuel surcharge (you can read more here and here and the NZ Commerce Commision comments in pdf format). Anyway, now it surfaces that Northwest is charging US$15 for the privilege of having a seat in the emergency exit area (those with a little bit more legroom) or an aisle seat. I wonder if they are planning on giving a US$15 discount for those people seating in front of the emergency exits, since those don't recline? How does it link back to my first paragraph? I can see the companies wanting to save some beans will send policies down to HR saying that "people travelling for the company should always take centre or window seats"...

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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


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