Bundled vs. Ala Carte Pricing

When traveling domestically by air, unless you are traveling first class, “free” meals onboard have gone the way of the dodo bird in recent years. If food service is offered at all, many airlines now offer to sell you a glorified boxed snack for roughly $8-15. As a flight attendant was working her way down the aisle with her tray of croissants on a flight that I was on headed to Montana not long ago, the person seated next to me remarked “Who’d pay $11 for that?” My reaction was “Not too many years ago everyone on this plane would have. We just wouldn’t have realized it since the cost was bundled into our ticket price."

When the sandwich was included in my ticket price my attitude would have been that since I was running close on connections, and didn’t have time to get a real meal, I would have been grateful for having been provided something to eat. Now the attitude has turned to one of disdain. Since this wasn’t my preferred carrier, I’ve already been assessed fees for everything from handling my bags to determining which seat I will be allowed to occupy. You’re not getting an $11 sandwich fee out of me! I’m sure that I am not alone in feeling this way.

Lesson to be learned: It’s rarely the product itself that effects our shopping experience! In this case, it’s the same airplane offering the same sandwich headed to the same destination as in the past. My attitude is totally based upon my perception of the airline’s attitude towards me – the customer. Be very careful when adding on too many additional charges to an estimate. Every customer wants something done for them – nobody wants something done to them. Perception is everything. The $580 airfare cost wasn’t questioned. The $11 sandwich fee was. Do you have such irritants in your pricing structure?

Friday, November 8, 2019