Hawaiian Airlines recently started charging $25 for exit row seating. And, while limited free meals are still available, they are now offering $10 paid meals as well as snacks and bottled water. In case you thought that was the end of Hawaiian’s ancillary fees, think again.
“Ancillary revenue…will become a bigger chunk of our total revenue.” Mark Dunkerley, CEO
Here are my top 7 ancillary fee predictions for Hawaiian Airlines. If you have any to add, please comment.
- Expect Hawaiian to discontinue free meal service in the near future. They’re not alone. Continental, the last major US carrier to feature free meals, starts serving paid food tomorrow. Free meals are not an adequately distinguishing feature in relation to the expense (likely over $7 per head). The $10 paid meals that Hawaiian is already proffering won’t become financially effective until the free food is gone.
- Beverages (soft drinks, water, juice) for pay may follow, along the lines of Allegiant and Australia’s most successful (Qantas-owned) Jetstar. This is somewhat more complicated than food, but like checked bag fees, it will eventually come to pass.
- Pillows, blankets and perhaps souvenirs will become new sources of revenue and passenger annoyance.
- Expect a pre-boarding fee (for standard passengers) if you wish to get on early and stash your carry-on.
- Assigned seating at time of booking will be at an extra cost.
- HawaiianMiles frequent flyer redemption will incur fees.
- Pay per visit Premier club lounge fees in LA or Honolulu (unless you’re a member).
Bottom line is that in the US Mainland market, Hawaiian must prepare to compete with Allegiant Air, which is the domestic king of ancillary fees. As you may recall, ancillary fees on Allegiant garners an average $32 per person per flight. And they do that on an average airfare of under $100.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Subscribe to our email updates.