Would You Pay More To Board a Plane Early?
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I was up late the other night looking for flights to New Orleans. My wife and I are going to FinCon, a financial blogger conference in September. I will be at the conference and she will be enjoying the city. That is just how we roll! Either way, I was looking at different airlines to see where I could get the best deal. Unfortunately, no matter how I searched and when I flew out, it is going to be an expensive trip. Glad I paid for most of it with airline miles. WooHoo!
With each site and different airlines, I noticed a few places which offer you to pay more for “priority” boarding. This was both with Southwest and quite a few other airlines. Most people think just Southwest offers this. Not true. For a small to medium sized fee, you can have the privilege of boarding that lovely metal tube before others. Actually, you get to board behind business class passengers if that is applicable. This nice little charge got me thinking. Would you pay more to board the plane early? Here is my take on it.
Is Boarding the Plane a Competition?
I get the priority boarding more with airlines like Southwest. When they herd you in there like cattle, you want a good seat. You want your aisle or window seat so you can better enjoy your flight.
Is it worth the added cost to have such a seat on airlines that don’t board like Southwest? You get there the same time as everyone else does. The seats are all small, so why not keep your hard earned cash and do something else with it?
Has the boarding process become a competition? Maybe a show of wealth. As you pay for priority boarding and then get to walk in front of everyone, does that give some joy? I just am not sure why it is so important to get on the plane first. You now have to wait for everyone else to board and that just adds to the time you will be in that little freaking seat.
You do get to post on twitter that you got on the plane first. Just a simple tweet like “@southwest first!” That gets my social media motor running too.
Priority Boarding is Becoming Big Business
We all know airlines will do whatever they can to boost profits. As our legroom shrunk, we noticed airlines were making more money. Then crazy bag fees came around and have stayed. Now, you can pay more for priority boarding, an extra inch of legroom, and other minor amenities. You may notice when one airline adds a service that becomes successful, others follow suit.
This is the case with priority boarding. Airlines are noticing people want to pay for such a service and charge accordingly. From what I found, most are charging from $9 to $25 each way for this little luxury. I am almost certain this will become a mainstay on the airline ticket search.
Any new way to make a little extra money is how a service like this comes to fruition. I am wondering who was the first person to request this. Was it a passenger or the airline execs? What do you think?
No Thanks! I Will Keep My Money
As I was checking out and was given the option to choose priority boarding, I decided to choose “No Thanks.” I will stay with the other regular people who just don’t see the point. While it is only $9 here and there, that adds up. Since I don’t get there any faster than anyone else, then why pay for the luxury of sitting in the small seat longer? I would rather just stick that little bit of money into my Roth IRA or other investment account and move on. It would be a better feeling to see that money make more money (albeit small) than to see it line the pockets of the airline companies.
So, as you can see, I am not a fan of fees such as this. While they are optional, I just don’t get them. Why do people pay more to board a plane early? Can someone explain the real advantages of this service, so I can understand the thought process behind it? I understand why the airline is offering it, but I don’t get why people fork out money to do it.
Would you pay more to board a plane early, even when your seat number and row is already reserved? What fees (airline or otherwise) drive you crazy?