Airline Fees – Blessing or Burden?

Airlines have been adding so many extra  passenger fees lately

Due to the increased costs imposed on Airlines by Airport charges and increased fuel costs, Airlines have had to pass on the additional costs by way of ancillary fees. These fees range from carry-on luggage to in-flight drinks, pillows and food. As a result of that what you see  on your ticket is not the true cost of flying. From overweight bags to flight changes and pets to unaccompanied minors, there is no shortage of fees that airlines will have to pass the additional charge to you as a customer.

Is the passing on of ancillary fees and charges to the passenger justified or is it just another way of making money?

Is there a need for a better  understanding of all of the true operational airline costs- in other words a more joined up holistic view? Or an increased need for the community to collaborate and lobby against Government regulations imposed on the Airline community to avoid passing on the costs to the customer.

In the final analysis I believe everybody in the industry has an agenda to improve the customer experience of travel not negate it – I am sure the Airline industry is doing everything it can not to pass on additional charges to the customer.

Your views welcome as always.

Here is an in-depth look at the complex world of airline fees. See the different add-on fees of 10 major domestic  airlines here.

A Guide to the Complex World of Airline Fees

Average of £73 per minute in UK Rail passenger delays caused by incidents –

On average their are in excess of .8million incidents per annum leading to 14million minutes of delay to franchised passenger Rail services in the UK.

Infrastructure faults come high on the list but equally so do Weather and Signalling- Communication to Passengers of incidents is highlighted as a key concern. Planning and re-plan is crucial to ensure minimal risk and delay.

A formidable challenge that can impact the Rail Franchise Operators profit at every point of the Journey. Rail operational factors are not always attributable or within the Rail Franchise Operator’s control.
Factors that cause major disruption and impact both from a customer experience perspective and a financial perspective are;

Weather Impact of Rail delays due to unavoidable weather changes
Mechanical issues Aging rolling stock lead to increased mechanical issues
Train Utilisation Operational delays can impact network utilisation
Station/network Congestion Re routing of trains, station delays impact efficiency
Union obligations Staffing overun on crew hours, compensation payments affect operational productivity and efficiency
Rail regulations Increased penalties and impositions on Rail operational delays

All of these factors can and do impact and disrupt operational core functions such as, Finance & Revenue Management, Call Centers, Freight Operations, In- train catering & cleaning services, Ground Ops, Engineering, Crew Planning & Scheduling, Network Planning, Customer Service.

The compounded effect of this is a direct impact both in terms of the customer experience and operational efficiency & financial/risk imposed on the Rail Operator.

I believe there is a need for a single INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM in ‘real time’ based on a common integrated IT platform.

If we take a different view of individual business impacts and classify them as ‘events’ that can and do re occur over a timeline we can take a very different perspective on the risk and financial impact to the Rail Operator.

The reclassification or construct of business impacts as EVENTS would enable by use of an event processing engine to group and categorise the core events by severity of impact and construct a model dynamically that turns data into information and presents this via a ‘holistic real time view’.

This information would the be presented via a series of dashboards back to the Rail Management/operators in real time for action.

In addition if we couple the ability to ‘analyse’ the customer experience and financial impact of these events, we could pre rank and scenario re plan alternative business solutions to ‘minimise future disruption, ring fence operational costs,  and improve the customer service proposition – this must in my opinion be a major benefit to any Rail Franchise Operator.

(Source: National Audit Office)