There is no secret that companies strive to make as much money out a their clients as possible, resorting to all sorts of marketing tricks. One of the most widespread and definitely the most notorious one is the policy of hidden charges; defined as the supplementary services which are not included into the ticket price, such issues as “Booking fees, baggage charges and a host of optional service fares” (Macguire, 2012, para. 1) are nowadays considered a common practice among a number of airlines, which raises the question whether airline companies infringe the customers’ rights by making them pay for the services which should quite honestly be included into the list of free services.
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Despite the fact that hidden charges might seem not quite fair to the clients, there are strong reasons to resort to charging the clients for the services which are generally considered free, mostly because of the fact that free services should be considered as a gift from the airline company, not a duty.
In the light of the heated arguments which have recently been raised concerning the issue, the article by Macguire should be mentioned. Offering a brief overview of the current situation, Macguire makes it obvious that at present, a number of airlines are practicing the ‘hidden charges approach’ is quite reasonable.
To prove the above-mentioned, Macguire states that the airline companies have actually all the reasons to charge people for additional services: “Additional fees for things like baggage allowance and seat selection can be above and beyond what it costs the airline (to offer these services)” (Macguire, 2012, para. 3).
In addition, the author of the article explains in details what exactly makes the companies make their clients pay more: “This enables them to streamline their costs and offer customers greater value for money in an increasingly competitive marketplace” (Macguire, 2012, para. 7). Therefore, it is evident that the prices for additional services have not been raised just of nothing – on the contrary, airline companies seem to have no other choice than to charge their clients for certain services.
However, it is worth admitting that Macguire also makes an attempt to consider the viewpoint of the opponents of hidden charges: “Many people have told us they distrust the airlines’ weighing systems” (Macguire, 2012, para. 14). All in all, the idea that companies need money to resume providing the services of the same high quality to their clientele pretty much sums up Macguire’s idea in a nutshell.
The given article, however, relates directly to the issues discussed in the given course. Macguire not only makes a legitimate point, but also touches upon a peculiar issue concerning the relationships between the people who offer certain services and the ones who use these services.
Regarding the economical issues, the article written by Macguire allows to see the basic principles of economics in action, i.e., the interaction between the company and the customers, the arguments which occur in the course of this interaction and the ways in which these arguments can be solved.
In addition, the article teaches the readers an important lesson, which is that companies do not raise prices for no reason; on the contrary, with all the rivals that these companies have to oppose to, there are sufficient reasons to make the charges even lower. Hence, the true factors which make companies raise prices are finally revealed, which contributes to building trustworthy relationships between the customers and the companies.
Nevertheless, the moral aspect of the issue still has to be considered. It is not the fact that the services which used to be free became paid that bothers; it is the fact that these charges are hidden that raises concerns. It would be much more reasonable if the airline companies offered their clients an honest-to-God description of all the services which are free as well as those which the customers have to pay for.
While the given approach might work against the companies once clients see all the changes which have been made to once free services, it will save the time and effort to calm down the people who did not expect certain services to cost money.
Hence, it can be considered that charging the customers for using any other facilities than a booked flight from the point A to the destination is fully the right of the airline companies, and the latter can exercise it on a regular basis. While it is reasonable to take into account the wishes of the clients, it is still necessary to make sure that the airline companies do not bear significant losses, which can happen once certain services become free.
Airline companies have to maintain high-quality standards and provide the clients with maximum security, which requires a lot of financial resources; hence, certain services cost money. Once considering payment for supplementary services as the way to get even better ones next time, the customers will be able to put up with the ‘hidden’ airline charges.
Macguire, E. (2012, July 2). ‘Hidden’ airline charges: Dirty tricks or customer choice? Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/airline-charges/index.html