Travel news to know: Budget airline Frontier has just dropped it’s toll-free customer service number to save money, and a European airline wants to weigh us before boarding.
Frontier hopes to save about $2 million a year by dropping the 800-number, which an executive says “will help keep fares low””. According to the Denver Post, the cost savings for Denver-based Frontier Airlines breaks down to a whopping six cents per passenger seat.
The pay-per call center now has a Salt Lake City area-code, making it a long-distance call for anybody without a national long-distance plan. That will affect passengers with landlines only, and let’s face it, there are still people in the world who don’t have cellphones.
Frontier fares start low, but once you start adding up all the extra charges, it’s less of a bargain.
Frontier now charges $49 to $69 each way on top of its low-priced fares for a bundled package of checked baggage and seat assignments, which brings the ticket price closer to full-fare airlines with a commitment to customer service.
What will airlines charge us for next? Seat belts?
Spirit and Allegiant, two other low-cost US-flag airlines, have similar charges, but they have far fewer complaints lodged against them, according to USA Today.
Many of the complaints against Frontier are due to other recent cost-cutting measures, including out-sourcing baggage handling.
Uzbekistan Airways says it will begin weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage, to ensure that too many overweight people and bags aren’t clustered together and cause the plane to tip to one side in flight.
According to the Sunday Express of Great Britain, this is permitted by international airline regulations.
I’ve been on small passenger flights, such as between islands in the Caribbean, and helicopter flightseeing over Kauai, Hawaii, where I’ve been weighed, along with my cameras in mascara in my carry-on, to ensure the load was balanced. But never on an international flight.
This could be the the first stop towards charging passengers by weight. Oh – wait – Samoa Air is doing that already.
Suzanne Fluhr says
I wish I weren’t addicted to being able to go to bed in Philadelphia and wake up in Uzbekistan or wherever, I’ll take off my shoes, put my liquids in 3 oz containers, pay to check a bag, bring my own food, stay on hold for 45 minutes only to not be able to understand the customer service rep who finally answers my call, let them weigh me, let them scan me, let them swab me, let them go through my personal belongings and a whole lot more before I’ll stop flying. Sigh.
Juergen | dare2go.com says
I always think that airlines should give us lighter people more luggage allowance – that would be fair! Somebody carrying excess body weight is allowed the same 23kgs bag as somebody small and light – that’s not fair.
But I guess my idea would border on discrimination… But how about everybody would be allowed to weigh, complete with his/her luggage and carry-on, up to150 kilograms, overweight people get the old standard allowance?
Evelyn Kanter says
That’s a great idea. If airlines charge us more for overweight baggage, they should charge us less for helping lighten the load.
McCool Travel says
I have said more than once, “Friends don’t let friends fly Frontier.”
Anita and Richard @ No Particular Place To Go says
The days of looking forward to travel by plane are long over … Too bad as it seems we’re spending more time than ever at the airport or looking online for travel deals. And the deals are getting smaller and fewer and farther apart!
Evelyn Kanter says
Evelyn Kanter, editor, ecoXplorer
Vicki Winters says
Kind of cheesy about Frontier getting rid of the 800 number…Uzbekistan airlines plan sounds ridiculous!
Evelyn Kanter says
Evelyn Kanter, Editor, ecoXplorer
It’s incredible what airlines do charge us for these days. I do think that baggage both in the hold and in the cabin should be weighed, but not so sure about people.