Sunday, October 03, 2010

Beating Baggage Fees & Freedom

Here is a very interesting situation concerning air travel and baggage fees and a possible solution that the airlines don't want you to know about.  It is common knowledge that airlines charge fees for checked baggage (with additional fees for different weights of baggage) to the tune of $769 million.  
There is no guarantee that checked bags will even arrive at your destination or if they will arrive in one piece.  We all have horror stories about this exact thing.
So, one company, Scottevest came up with a product that acts as a solution for some travelers.  They sell clothing that has compartments for various computers, ipods, water bottles, wallets, passports, etc.  Their jackets hold more than just a few extra pockets and some people find this clothing quite helpful --even for everyday use. 
My husband likes his vest because he can take his computer equipment to class without having to lug around a bag and risk it being stolen or forgotten while at school.
Sounds like a good idea to me!  Again, completely optional - anyone can purchase one if they want....

So, Scottevest tried to place an ad in the airline magazine Delta Sky rejected their ad (the same one you see above).  They ads were rejected because the product could cut into the earning power of the airlines baggage fees!  The NYTimes did a piece on fliers anger towards baggage fees and how the baggage fees are a major income for the airlines.
So, Scottevest changed the ad removing the notice of "beating the sytem" but kept the avoiding baggage fees.  The airline again rejected the ad based on content!  They wanted the AVOIDING BAGGAGE FEES removed.

Scottevest responded with :

"Frankly, if they object to the 'avoid the baggage fees' line, they need to stop charging baggage fees. I don't think we should change it. We have agreed to remove 'beat the system,' but will not change the sub-heading. The fact that airlines charge baggage fees is just that: A fact. We just help make it less painful."

So, Scottevest unable to advertise in the airflight magazine took to internet in a Facebook, email and twitter campaign to get the word out. They explained their ad and the controversy about the airlines demanding that they eliminate the "beat baggage fees" tagline.

 In response, the airline industry went ballistic pressuring the marketing firms to stop the internet campaigns.

So, now Scottevest is embroiled in a ridiculous battle to sell their products, while the airlines are trying to stop people exercising their own freedoms to "beat the system". 

You can imagine how well this sits with me....
Guess what everyone I know is getting for Christmas this year?

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