Modern people are having love and hate relationships with air travel. We need airplanes to go from one place to another faster and safer. However, we also have concerns about air travel and this isn’t an overstatement. Consumers are still frustrated by different aspects of flying and how it can affect their wallets. People continue to feel that they get less value for the money. Because air travel involves high cost aspects, true costs of flight are actually increase higher than the average rate of inflation. But, airlines know that they will lose passengers if they hike airfares too often and too high. So, instead of charging more, they need to offer less service instead. Fortunately, there are things consumers can do to remedy these problems:
1. Choose seats at the front of the economy flight cabin: Many consumers often complain about limited legroom and uncomfortable seats. Air travel could feel like a torment if passengers need to be in the less desirable situations for hours. Consumers could choose to pay a premium to obtain better seating. Airlines are already allocating different areas in airplanes, so consumers could choose better seating category if they are willing to pay extra. This option could be rather tempting during long flights. Some seats in the economy category offer better legroom than others, as an example seats at the front of the cabin. If we have issues with limited legroom, we may need to book the flight a few months in advance and make sure we get seats at the front of the cabin. In some cases, the legroom could even be better than in the business class.
2. Choose airlines that allow checked bags for free: Many years ago, airlines offered baggage space for free, but they charge for it now. Baggage fees are one thing that may irk many air travellers. Baggage fees could range widely, from $25 for a small bag, up to $200 for oversized and overweight bags. Some airliners allow one or two checked bags for free. If we fly often with a carrier, we could obtain an airline-branded credit card.
3. Get specific credit cards to cover change and cancellation fees could hit passengers hard. This is often unavoidable, for example due to work requirements or death in the family. For this reason, we may need to choose credit card with a kind of travel insurance perk that covers this cost for us. Some cards offer particularly generous travel-related insurances. Such as coverage for ticket changes or cancellations due to illness, injury or death. A few airliners don’t charge change and cancellation fees at all, although we may still need to pay for the price differences if we decide to change the date.
4. Apply for the TSA PreCheck program: Long security lines are one of the common complaints in air travel. As a result of various terrorist attacks, passengers are forced to give up their privacy and time for various screening measures. In fact, some of the security fees are included in the airfares. Alternatively, passengers could apply for the TSA PreCheck program and pay an $85 fee. It may not allow us to avoid all security checks, but we could still soften the blow significantly.
5. Use general travel rewards cards to earn points: It is getting more difficult to get free flights even if we are participating in frequent flyer programs. Many passengers seek to maximize travel points to get various benefits. Airlines are now allocating fewer seats for frequent flyer passengers, because they want to prioritize more on paying customers. It is also not possible to obtain free flights due to blackout dates. Also, frequent flyer seats are not really free due to specific added fees. Alternatively, we could earn points using general travel rewards cards. Many passengers tend to choose airline-branded card for rack up specific amount of miles to get free flights. This method should help us solve blackout date problems and limited number of reward seats.