A covid charge might come

By | Category: Travel news

Thankfully, in Europe, we don’t have Frontier Airlines.

© Frontier Airlines

This small American domestic airline started charging what it calls a Covid Recovery Charge to all passengers that fly on it.

The airline described the charge as offsetting “added costs to Frontier due to implementing Covid-19 related measures, such as increased sanitation and cleaning onboard the aircraft and in the airport, shields at the ticket counters and gate areas, and personal protective equipment for employees.”

The US based website/newsletter, Miles to Memories, picked up on this new charge three days ago and the big US newspaper, USA Today, ran with the story a day later.

The charge is small, amounting to $1.59 passenger according to the information on the Miles to Memories image but that doesn’t matter; -it’s the principle.

The airline suddenly dropped the charge last Thursday either due to the publicity it caused or the annoyance it met with its passengers.

The point is that the airline found another way to charge passengers.

Although dropped, you can bet that airlines over here and in Europe will have spotted this new way of fleecing passengers and will introduce it when they feel they can do so.

At present they won’t do so because the air passenger business is fragile. But it isn’t in the US where passenger numbers are, in some cases, back to pre-pandemic levels. Frontier had no charge last year when the market for passengers was light, only this year did it introduce the surcharge.

This airline is one of the most assiduous in taking as much passenger money as it can. It operates surcharges at peak travel times “to cover costs of providing a service including facility maintenance, fuel, security etc. These surcharges appear during peak holiday travel periods such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.”   

That they need to provide these services in order to run the airline in the first place is immaterial to the airline. It’s another “hidden” charge a bit like the administration fee that we used to see on airline tickets until the authorities stopped the practice.

Fliers be warned – a new charge could be coming to you soon. And why not any other tourism provider like trains, accommodation, cruise companies, car hire and attractions.

But what we have learnt is that if there is enough publicity and enough annoyance passengers might be able to get it dropped just as Frontier had to drop the charge despite the fact that if had beilled all its passengers pre-covid, it would have earnt itself almost another $35 million!

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