All Those Flying Extra Fees? Airlines Will Make A Record $118 Billion This Year


Pay to check your bag, pay to select your seat, pay so you can buy food – all those new airline extra fees are lining the coffers of companies and creating record-breaking profits. Pre-pandemic levels record-breaking revenue, that is.

According to a recent study from airline consultancy firm IdeaWorks and B2B car rental company CarTrawler, airlines are on pace to make a record $117.9 billion this year from all those extra fees showing up everywhere, not just on low-cost airlines.

To put the sum in actual context, it’s a 7.7% increase from pre-pandemic records. Considering how profitable the endeavor is, expect to see even more of them. The truly horrible part? Buying an airline ticket without accidentally paying more will be even more of a nightmare, thanks to the dark patterns employed by airlines in the checkout process.

Also read: First Plane With 100% Sustainable Fuel Takes Off

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of dark patterns in web design, especially for airline tickets, a FastCompany report explains:

“It’s not simply the fees that are raising hackles. It’s also how they’re sold online. Due to the time sensitive nature of airfares, as well as the dozens of upgrades and extras offered as you click through the sales process, airline websites can be ripe environments for what’s known as dark patterns. 

Coined in 2010 by Harry Brignull, a UX designer with a doctorate in cognitive science, dark patterns are design strategies used to trick consumers during their purchasing experience and guide them to decisions they would not make otherwise. 

Airlines employ a range of tactics on their websites, ranging from manipulation to deception, Bringull says.”

Also read: Airlines Are Catching On to ‘Skiplagging’, The Latest Travel Hack To Save Money

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