Aer Lingus to boost its non-ticket revenue with flexible baggage fees
AER Lingus is developing new baggage fee structures and may introduce online duty-free shopping in a bid to further boost non-ticket revenue.
Speaking to the Irish Independent, chief executive Christoph Mueller confirmed that the airline might introduce new baggage fees that reflected the requirements of passengers on specific routes.
That means holidaymakers setting off with their children could include a greater luggage allowance in their booking at a price that the airline believes will offer value and prevent shock charges for overweight bags on checking in.
Conversely, said Mr Mueller, travellers to London on a short leisure or business break, for example, could pay a different baggage fee reflecting their smaller luggage requirement.
Aer Lingus is also working on being able to let passengers buy their duty-free shopping as they book their flight.
"In Scandinavia they've had this for 10 years already," said Mr Mueller. He said that at some airlines the duty free that was bought online was waiting for passengers on their seats when they boarded. He added the system made sense for many travellers, such as those accompanied by children, who were under greater pressure.
However, Mr Mueller said that introducing online duty-free shopping required negotiations with airport authorities and retailers, so was a work in progress.
Additional product offerings related to in-flight meals are also possible.
Aer Lingus is also considering ways in which it can offer holiday packages to passengers, possibly enabling them to book diversions such as spa treatments as they book their flight.
Retail revenue per passenger in the third quarter to September was €19.24, up 6.2pc on the third quarter of 2012. The increase was driven by pricing rather than volume, with fare options, online booking charges, seat selection and baggage fees among the biggest contributors.