Now instead of just ranting against the fee, let me say that I understand the logic behind charging fees separately instead of just rolling the cost into the price. The U.S. government has actually found something that it doesn't feel the need to tax in these add-on fees, so if the airline can break something out into an optional component of booking a flight, it doesn't have to collect the 7.5% tax on that portion of the cost, which leads to a lower cost for the consumer. Think of it as if you're ordering a pizza. You pay tax on the crust, sauce, and cheese, but all of the toppings are tax free. Unless of course you order artichokes on your pizza. In that case you pay triple the tax and you get audited once you're finished.
|This is not a pizza topping people!|
Of course for those people who are a little less organized (and I fall in that category most of the time) and don't pre-pay for their bags, the choice is a lot more painful. $35 to add a carry-on bag at the airport is a tough pill to swallow, especially when you can check your bag for the same price. I suspect that's the entire point though. Checked bags don't slow down boarding, so if Allegiant can persuade you to check your bag instead of carrying it on, they can reduce their turnaround time. That makes them money. Of course so do the bag fees, but that should come as no surprise. If there's one thing Allegiant knows how to do, it's make money. 36 straight quarters of profitability so far, and I doubt that a little negative publicity over the initiation of carry-on fees is going to put much of a dent in that.
Would I pay a carry-on fee? I'm really more of a checked bag kind of guy, but more than that, I'm a bottom line person. If the total cost for what I needed, including fees, was still lower on an airline that charges for carry-on than anywhere else, then I'd pay the bag fee. Whether or not Allegiant's customers will continue to carry-on their entire life's possessions on each flight though, is a different question. If they do, I'll be kicking myself for not buying some Allegiant stock, even if I would have had to pay a brokerage fee.