Saturday, January 22, 2011

Extra fees still do not fly at Southwest Airlines

Even amid rising fuel costs, Southwest says it's not going to to back-track on its no-fee stance.

"If we were to begin to charge change fees, that runs the risk of destroying a lot of good will," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly answered when asked if the airline's no-fee stance is dampening revenue, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"I'd rather have a customer than a bag fee. We get a lot more money that way," Kelly says, according to the Inquirer.

Kelly's comment on the subject comes as Southwest unveils its latest ad in its "fees don't fly" campaign. That ad takes aim at the change-of-ticket fees charged by rivals.

Like other airlines, Southwest recalculates the fare of customers changing tickets, but it does not charge a penalty for doing so. Most other big carriers charge a $150 penatly, on top of recalculating the fare.

Southwest management has said on numerous occasion that it feels that the airline's no-fee stance has helped it win marketshare from fee-heavy rivals.

(Ben Mutzabaugh - USA Today / Today in the sky)

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