Two items of travel news last week that have dismayed a lot of travellers:
Firstly, Emirates will now be charging for seat reservations, and secondly, British Airways will from the 11th of January 2017, stop their complimentary snacks and drinks on short-haul flights. Neither of these are in the interests of the customer, and travellers are becoming more and more annoyed at the diluting of services and extra costs being added to their journey.
Emirates are not the first to charge for booking a specific seat, in fact most large airlines make charge unless you are a Silver/Gold airline card holder. Emirates will make a charge from 03 October for all the lower economy fares, though it is free when you are travelling within 48 hours. Annoyingly, if you are a Silver card holder travelling with a companion who is not, you can only book your own seat – hassle time at check in if you want to travel together ! For all airlines, would it not be good if we could pay a fare and be able to sit with our travelling companion/ family without having to pay even more?
The British Airways announcement that complimentary meals on short haul will be withdrawn from January next year has come in for widespread criticism. Travellers like BA because of the service aspect, be that lounges, complimentary inflight drinks and snacks and of course the crew. By introducing Marks & Spencer sandwiches and snacks for a charge, admittedly they are aiming at a quality product, but the charge is something that aligns BA to the budget carrier model, and that is not always low cost when you add all these additional charges to the fare – baggage, seat & meal being the obvious areas that are targeted. Travellers from Glasgow Edinburgh and Aberdeen will be concerned that their hot breakfasts may be next on the hit list!