Southwest Airlines To Impose New Fee

Southwest Airlines passengers will face a brand new fee when they travel next year. reports that Southwest Airlines Co. will be charging a “no show” fee to customers who fail to cancel a previously purchased ticket if they will be missing the flight. The fees apply to the company’s “Wanna Get Away” fares, which are its least expensive.

Southwest made the announcement on Friday at a New York conference for investors.

The charges will take effect sometime next year with the goal being an increase in revenue to the tune of $1.1 billion. The amount of the new fee was not included in the announcement and the company has not disclosed its assessment process.

The carrier, based in Dallas, plans to continue its “bags fly free” policy that allows passengers to check their first two bags without being charged. It is also a Southwest policy not to charge customers for reservation changes. Both practices are considered to be standard fees in the industry.

An article by The News Tribune adds that the airline has plans to increase other fees as well. There will be a bump in the amount it currently charges fliers for early check-ins or overweight baggage. Passengers with one of Southwest’s subsidiary companies, AirTran Airways, will see an increase in bag charges come February.

The Daily Mail reports that Southwest CEO Gary Kelly feels customers wont be alienated by the change. Kelly said the following:

“By our research, customers understand that we all could benefit – customers and the company – from the opportunity to resell a seat. Once the airplane takes off and (a seat) is empty, we can’t ever reclaim that.”

How do you feel about the new fees being imposed to customers by Southwest Airlines?