Northwest Airlines Corp. expects to make $102 million in non-ticket revenue this year from fliers who purchase seat upgrades, one-day airport club passes and more online or using self-service kiosks. (6/22/2007)
According to , the forecast revenue will be nearly eight times the $13 million Northwest earned from non-ticket self-service items in 2004.
“We’re just scratching the surface,” Al Lenza, Northwest’s VP of distribution and e-commerce reportedly said.
Northwest customers can pay extra for traditional items like upgrades to first class, and newer options including a $15 fee to choose a preferred aisle or exit-row seat or $25 for a same-day flight change. All the self-service options paid for themselves in two months or less, Lenza reportedly said. But not all have initially been popular with customers.
According to AP, Lenza said Northwest was skewered on the frequent flyer website FlyerTalk.com when its “elite” programme customers also had to pay for the seat changes, a policy that quickly ended. Also, some customers have complained about having to pay extra fees when using one of the airline´s customer service call centers. Further, report from AP highlighted: “Still, online sales are the present and the future. Forrester Research in January forecast that 40 million US households would book travel online this year and spend $86 billion in the process.”
With a market that size and 85 percent of Northwest customers already using its Web site and airport kiosks for self-service, Lenza said future options will include: hotel and car rental packages; advanced notice of oversold flights enabling customers to pay more to leave earlier or receive compensation or upgrades for leaving later; and possibly third-party advertising.