Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Is the Future of Business Free?

Every year about 1.3 million passengers fly from London to Barcelona. A ticket on Dublin-based low-cost airline Ryanair is just $20 (10 pounds).

Other routes are similarly cheap, and Ryanair's CEO has said he hopes to one day offer all seats on his flights for free.

But, how can a flight across the English Channel be cheaper than the cab ride to your hotel?

A) Cut costs: Ryanair boards and disembarks passengers from the tarmac to trim gate fees. The airline also negotiates lower access fees from less-popular airports eager for traffic.

B) Ramp up the ancillary fees: Ryanair charges for in-flight food and beverages; assesses extra fees for preboarding, checked baggage, and flying with an infant; collects a share of car rentals and hotel reservations booked through the Web site; charges marketers for in-flight advertising; and levies a credit-card handling fee for all ticket purchases.

C) Offset losses with higher fares: On popular travel days, the same flight can cost more than $100.

D) Innovate inflight pay-for-use higher value added services: flying casinos; immersive virtual reality environments featuring the latest 3D blockbuster films; jelly-pools you can swim in; play centres for kids; add infi-flightum!

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