Budget airlines have long been charging for any additional services they see fit. The famous ones are now starting to offer extra services.
They say civil aviation is like that canary bird they once used to detect toxic gases in coal mines. When the economy is doing poorly, it is the airlines who feel it first because, in general, they operate at modest profit rates and are extremely dependent on variables like fuel prices, political situations and tourism trends.
In Europe traditional air carriers fight this by optimizing their costs and flight schedules and investing in modern and cheaper technologies.
An Increasing Number Of Airline Companies, mostly in America, but lately in other parts of the world too, are starting to charge their customers for things that have been free in the past. In order to attract more customers they are forced to constantly reduce their ticket prices. In the meantime, they are not able to influence the fuel prices and airport fees which are the “constants that are getting more expensive”. The possibilities to make a profit are reduced to the minimum, and at the same time passengers keep wanting more and more.
Not only are fees becoming more expensive, but they are also more frequent. Since the first paid extra service in the air was offered (the luxurious sandwich provided by Imperial Airlines in 1927) experts have never stopped working on optimizing this scheme. Although, for a long period of time, flights were so expensive and exclusive that companies had to include everything in the ticket just to attract passengers. This is how it was until some 20 years ago when the Irish Ryanair rediscovered the extra costs mania as a source of constantly bursting liquidity.