Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, many airlines have turned to creative means for increasing CARPM (Captive Audience Revenue Per Mile). Initial efforts to charge extra for aisle seats, food and oxygen masks have generated little interest. However, as airlines continue to trim seating space and decrease cabin temperature (see charts below), many passengers are becoming increasingly desperate to improve their in-flight experience.
In-Flight Seat Auctions
FlightFromHell.net offers a win-win solution for airlines and customers alike. "Our in-flight software allows passengers to bid for other seats in the cabin while they are onboard" explains Edward Steptoe, CEO and co-founder. Their solution, once installed in seat-back entertainment systems, provides seat maps with useful physical statistics of current occupants (height, weight etc). Passengers may ping the seat-holder with a proposed switching payment (including a 30% "handling fee" to cover the airline's "inconvenience"). Once a price is agreed, additional optional fees such as overhead baggage relocation and in-flight sock transfer may be negotiated. "Early trials with Tashkent Airlines have proved wildly popular" says Steptoe, "God willing, we'll be introducing the system into a regional Irish airline in the new year."