Bit by bit …. That’s how airlines manage to run profitable businesses.  They charge extra for things like seat selection, meals and now even for a good spot in the line up.

This $9 charge will annoy a lot of people

So is this how to make money?  Apparently so because it seems to be working. Don’t forget in this online world the cheapest flights will be reflected up in the top of your search screen.  What the online booking engine won’t tell you is how much you will have to shell out for meals, drinks, cushions, blankets and now even a place in the line up.

The nickle and diming upsell is not just common in the airline industry – think about the world around you?

Would you like fries with that?

Shall I super-size that booster juice?

Would you like to go with the 9 oz glass of wine rather than the 6 oz?

large glass of wine

So it is understandable that especially when you come to low cost products such as economy airfare or those really cheap cruises then of course you are going to get sold to …. And sold to …. And sold to… until it drives you round the blinking bend.  A colleague who recently went on one of the big big cruise ships said she got utterly sick of people trying to sell her dining reservations and drinks packages.  You would think you would be in the clear when you buy an all inclusive package – but no – at many resorts you get hounded by time share reps and even if they are not around you get hounded on the beaches – at least in Mexico.  That is one thing that can be said for Cuba – you don’t have that same kind of aggressive sales people.

Ah well – everyone has to make a dime.  As the old saying goes “Cheap is expensive” in the long run you end up paying for it.

Many of the luxury cruise lines do interesting comparisons between their cost per day and the main stream non inclusive cruise lines and the numbers seem to show that you end up paying one way or another so might as well pay up front in Cdn $ if you can and at least have a relaxing holiday.

The problem is – we all love those deals – and we end up paying for them!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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