Why Flights Are So Cheap (And You Might Hate Yours)

Flying these days sounds like an incredible bargain.

Low-cost is a key focus, not just for the Ryanairs and Spirit Airlines of the world that are historically known for cheap flights and limited service. Legacy carriers like United and American have introduced stripped-down fares to better compete, and even international trips are getting the bargain treatment. You might have noticed headlines about $65 one-way transatlantic fares recently.

But what are travelers giving up when they opt for the lowest price? And are the overhead bins really off limits if you fly cheap?

On today’s episode of the Skift podcast, we’re talking about the true cost of cheap flights, why airlines are fighting to capture price-sensitive travelers, and what they’re charging for instead.

With us in the office is Brian Sumers, Skift’s airline business reporter, and joining us by Skype is editor-in-chief Jason Clampet. We’ve also got clips from interviews Brian and Jason did with British Airways CEO Alex Cruz, International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh, and Emirates Airline President Tim Clark.

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today. Subscribe via iTunes, Google Play, or RSS.

What’s Next for Choice and Loyalty in Air Travel

The experience of booking and taking flights has been changing dramatically as airlines deconstruct their products to give passengers more choices for extra fees. At the same time, the value of loyalty programs has diminished, and credit card companies are trying to fill the void.

We’ve got three short conversations packed into one loaded podcast today, all revolving around airlines — a hot topic at the recent Skift Global Forum. Jeremy Kressman, a Skift contributing writer, spoke to this episode’s guests in the Skift Take Studio backstage at the forum.

The first conversation is with Robert Albert, founder and CEO of Routehappy, about innovation in the way airlines sell flights. The second is a spirited back-and-forth with Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy website, and George Hobica, founder of discount airfare site Airfarewatchdog.com, about the value of loyalty.

And finally, we hear from Ben Smith, president for passenger airlines at Air Canada, who touches on those themes and more from a carrier point of view.

This is one of several conversations we’re bringing you from backstage at the Skift Global Forum. The Skift Take Studio Series is presented by Mastercard, a payments technology company that is enabling loyalty, security and data solutions for the global travel industry.

Start listening to The Skift Podcast, today. Subscribe via iTunes, Google Play, or RSS.