Title: The future of ancillary service fees in air travel - an exploratory investigation of budget air travellers

Authors: Andreas Wittmer; Philipp Boksberger; Andreas Gerber

Addresses: Center for Aviation Competence, University of St. Gallen, Dufourstrasse 40a, CH-9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland. ' Institute for Tourism and Leisure Research, HTW Chur, Comercialstrasse 22, CH-7000 Chur, Switzerland. ' Corporate Procurement Development and Services, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd., P.O. Box CH-8058, Zurich Airport, Switzerland

Abstract: Ancillary service fees are often associated with low-cost carriers (LCC). However, today, more and more full service carriers (FSC) have introduced such fees as well and service chains of LCCs and FSCs look very similar. This article compares different European airlines in terms of ancillary fees and services for the low yield passenger segment and based on a passenger survey, it researches into the question what the budget air traveller of today really wants when he/she books a flight. Interestingly, the willingness-to-pay and the willingness-to-use selected service elements differ between budget air travellers of a FSC and those of a LCC. Generally, passengers of LCCs would pay higher amounts for additional service attributes than passengers of FSCs. However, the main lesson is clear: there are additional service elements that add value to budget air travellers and the latter are generally willing to pay considerable amounts for these value-adding propositions.

Keywords: budget air travel; ancillary service fees; unbundling; price attitudes; budget airlines; low-cost carriers; European airlines; full service carriers; willingness-to-pay; willingness-to-use; value added; flight bookings; passenger attitudes.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAM.2012.050474

International Journal of Aviation Management, 2012 Vol.1 No.4, pp.231 - 241

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 23 Nov 2012 *

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