Laura Busby, Commercial Director, Good Travel Management stated: “There’s been a significant change in the way airlines sell their fares over the years, and that’s really been driven by budget carriers and shifting consumer attitudes.
“Traditionally, you may have had a drink or checked-in bag included in the cost of your plane ticket. But nowadays, airlines take a no-frills approach where they de-bundle these extras to bring the price down for the customer.
“And this is largely due to the demands of the consumer. As an industry, we’ve noticed that, above all else, cost is often the most important factor for travellers. So, giving customers the opportunity to secure these ultra low-cost flights that previously wouldn’t have been available has become an important trend in making travel more accessible.
“Drip pricing offers more flexibility for the consumer to cut costs where they see appropriate. The problem lies in the occasional lack of clarity that has been demonstrated across a variety of industries when it comes to drip pricing. Often, these add-on costs are not made clear enough from the outset and could easily be interpreted as ‘hidden fees.’
“The travel industry has only just begun to see a full recovery from the impact of the pandemic, and a sharp increase in plane fares will only hinder the progress that has been made in getting people back on board.”
“If you are organising travel as a business, partnering with a travel management company (TMC) can alleviate any confusion. This is particularly useful for business travellers that fly regularly or have a strict business policy. A TMC can aggregate all available plane fares and tailor this to what is relevant to the profile of the traveller. Often, a TMC can also negotiate special rates with travel vendors to get the best price possible.
“Finally, I’d welcome a review from the government to set a standardisation of frameworks for airlines that improve transparency and make purchasing travel products simpler. However, I don’t agree scrapping drip pricing is the way forward. This will only mean taking away choice from holidays and business travellers, resulting in higher fees in the future”.