Thursday 24 July 2008

Personal Porter becomes increasingly relevant

Last week saw the introduction of another airline introducing checked-in luggage fees in an effort to mitigate against soaring fuel costs. It was widely reported that Virgin Blue would introduce this fee and the question that should now be asked, is how long will it take for Qantas to introduce its own charge?

In the last month there have been some unnerving quotes from all quarters of the airline industry.

Geoff Dixon, Qantas CEO said “oil prices staying at over US$140-plus a barrel has changed forever the way we do business”

Gerard Arpey, American Airlines Chairman & CEO said “The US airline business was not built for US$125 or US$130 barrel oil....and will not continue in its current state”

Idris Jala, Malaysia Airlines MD & CEO said “change, and I mean drastic change, is absolutely vital for our survival”.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the vast majority of travellers will now have to start facing the reality that the days are drawing to a close where airlines will deliver luggage for free.

“It was inevitable. Airlines have no choice but to create additional revenue streams and charging for checked-in luggage is an effective strategy.” said James Garrod, Group Marketing Director of Personal Porte, “The airline only needs a small percentage of passengers to travel with just hand luggage to make significant fuel savings.”

This was confirmed by Horst Findeisen, Star Alliance Vice President Business Development, after holding some best practice workshops stated “by reducing the weight of the aircraft by as little as 50kgs would provide significant savings”. The actual savings figure reported was $1million in fuel costs per day and in the language of Personal Porter, this weight represents just 2 items of checked-in luggage.

“We have conducted our own studies and by removing checked-in luggage from one particular airlines international operations, it was calculated that over $200million could be saved in fuel costs” said Garrod. “To be fair, we are some way off removing checked-in luggage from an airlines operations altogether, but it again demonstrates that even a small percentage uptake in the service can provide a significant benefit”

As well as checked-in luggage fees, this last month saw a reduction in the luggage allowance provided by Cathay Pacific on its US route. This is a significant policy change and has the potential to influence the luggage allowances other airlines provide that fly into the Americas.

Personal Porter™ provides an online and seamless global door-to-door luggage delivery service, offering travellers an alternative to checking-in luggage, by picking up their luggage at their home or office and delivering it to their final destination wherever in the world they are located. The company offers flexible luggage options, preferred pick-up windows, pro-active luggage management and with operations in both Australia and the UK, provides unrivalled coverage, customer service and 24/7 support.

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