Airlines pitch wine, paragliding and other perks

In an effort to bring in more revenue and customer loyalty, airlines are selling all kinds of extras.

By Kim Peterson Jan 24, 2011 4:06PM
Image: Airline (© Blend Images/SuperStock)Airlines already pile one fee after another on customers. Now, they're trying a new strategy to bring in more revenue: Selling lots of perks.

Want your luggage picked up at home? They can do that. How about a pass for the snazzy airport club lounge? Done. Wine and cheese on the flight? Sure. And then there are some extras you probably never even considered, like paragliding lessons at your vacation destination.

It's all part of a new effort to provide customers with everything they need on the day of flight, and then some. Airlines get more control over the customer, and they also see it as a way to win brand loyalty and compete on more than just price, The Wall Street Journal reports.

There are teams of people who just devise ways to bring in more "ancillary revenue." Entire consulting companies are focused on this area. And in many ways, it sounds like the airlines are just getting started. Many of these extras are sold on airline websites to customers at the time of booking.

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Here are some examples of the perks airlines are now pitching, according to the Journal:

The club lounge:Delta (DAL) is selling a $50 day pass to its airport club lounges.

In-flight Wi-Fi: That's an obvious one.

Extra legroom: It's part of a "Premier Travel" package from United (UAL) that also includes a priority spot in the airport security line.

A Vegas detour: Delta charges $88 for a bus trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in case you want to add a little blackjack to the family vacation.

Paragliding: Delta also offers a $120 paragliding lesson in Malibu.

Luggage pickup: United will send someone to your house to pick up golf clubs or skis, and send them to your destination.

The aisle seat:US Airways Group (LCC) charges different fees for window and aisle seats.

Fancy snacks: From yogurt parfaits to wine-and-cheese platters, United is selling it.

Vacation packages: This has long been a standard option at airline websites, but Southwest (LUV) is more aggressively selling them now.



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