Alaska’s chief thinks Southwest would say “not guilty”

ayer.bmpAlaska Air Group chief executive William Ayer believes his company would be found “not guilty” in the fee court of Southwest Airlines.

Southwest followed its “Bags Fly Free” campaign with a roll-out of a series of commercials featuring “Fee Court” scenarios where other airlines are taken to task for charging outrageous change fees.

During a speech at FAA’s annual forecast conference, Ayer called the new ads clever, and joked Alaska would not render a guilty verdict. He highlighted Alaska’s pledge of of a $20 dollar discount code on a future flight if bags fail to arrive at baggage claim within 20 minutes. Alaska charges $20 each for three checked bags except for military personnel, first class travellers, frequent flyers, flights within the state of Alaska and its flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Ayer says Alaska recognizes there are limits to product unbundling, and among other criteria for deciding how to unbundle the carrier “must look everyone in the eye while we’re explaining it”. 

Here’s just one of Southwest’s Fee Court commercials.

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