Southwest Airlines To Charge No Show Passengers

By O'Jay Burgess on Dec 20, 2012 03:57 PM EST

In a move to double profits, American aircraft carrier Southwest Airlines are charging travellers who cancel their tickets before their flight.

MSN reports that Southwest wants to charge no-showers for bailing on their tickets The company also announced last Friday that fees on early check-in and oversized bags are going up.

Southwest said it doesn't charge ticket-change fees, and it lets customers apply the price of an unused ticket to a later trip, but customers who take advantage of those policies are leaving too many seats empty, the company said.

The airline will implement the policy sometime next year and, according to MSN, Southwest will charge a no-show fee on its cheapest fares, known as "Wanna Get Away" tickets. Neither the date nor the amount of the fee has been set.

CEO Gary Kelly said the policy will bring it in line with fellow airlines and said that the change will not alienate its customers.

"By our research, customers understand that we all could benefit - customers and the company - from the opportunity to resell a seat," Kelly said. "Once the airplane takes off and (a seat) is empty, we can't ever reclaim that," said Kelly, according to MSN. 

The airline, with this move, is looking to boost its revenue by $1.3 billion in 2013. Kelly said their goal is to double their earnings but said that it will be difficult.

"We're looking for our revenue initiatives to take hold in 2013 in a way that would produce very strong earnings," he said, adding that such a goal assumed a growing economy and stable jet fuel prices.

According to Yahoo, in a survey done by where it interviewed 1,000 airline users, Southwest rank 6th on the list of America's airlines with the worst attitudes, just behind Spirit and just above Air Tran. The survey said that American Airlines is the worst aircraft carrier in the nation.

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