A Year In Review for Airline Travel

Korea-Incheon-International-Airport-Deperture-lobby-check-in-counter2015 was positive and negative year for airline travel. In recent years, the airline industry has seen plenty of downfall, but this year changed a lot of things. Airlines saw a positive growth in profits and passenger loads, but this didn’t ensure that all passengers saw any positive changes as a result. As we are only a few days into the new years, there were still developments that never were resolved in the past year. It’s likely that they will spill over into the upcoming years, shaping how the industry will change.  It didn’t mean that nothing was accomplished through! I have listed a couple of issues that were both celebrated and criticized in the past year.

Profit Gain

The airline industry saw a net profit of thirty-three billion dollars for 2015. The International Air Transport Associations pointed out that lower oil prices, high load factors, and a strong demand were factors in the rise for the year. In the United States, profits were around nineteen billion dollars, which was a gain from the previous year. As a result of these profit changes, the industry invested the money into improving different a variety of products. In the US, most airlines decided to focus on improving premium cabins. Companies hoped that by improving luxury accommodations, it would draw in bigger spenders. How did these companies change things then? Delta decided to add Westin Heavenly Bedding to the cabins, along with expensive silverware for customers to use. American and United both revamped their lounges to ensure customers would be able to wait in total luxury, while United also added meal options for international flights.

Economy

As for those in economy, no changes yet. Actually, things were worse than previous years. Many airlines limited the products that many customers had in the past. The number of bag check in changed, weight limits were strictly enforced and rewards were limited even more. For example, Delta introduced its “Basic Economy” package. Seat selection was taken away and now assigned after check in. Economy customers board last and you can no longer cancel or change any part of your flight, which can often leave people in a lot of trouble. We can hope that with the rise in profits, airlines will spend some more money on these customers.

These were only a few of the travel victories and loses. USA Today has listed at least five more on their website, which you can read here. We can only hope that with the new year, more positive changes that help every type of passenger emerges.