The airline industry is always reinventing itself. Airline companies must keep up with consumer spending habits. Back in the old days when 747 airplanes were on the top of the airline pecking order, consumers would pay big bucks to fly first class. Flying First Class on a 747 was a party in the sky during the 1970s. But changing consumer habits, rising fuel costs and several other issues took the wind out of the party atmosphere, and airlines got serious about making money. Airlines went on a cost-savings binge, and today, that binge is an uncontrollable addiction. People who fly for business or pleasure pay a hefty price for tickets. Plus, they pay for more leg room, food and drinks, baggage storage, and anything else that can produce revenue.
The airline companies that call themselves budget airlines in the United States are not that cheap. People who fly on a budget airline fly in smaller seats, and they are afraid to sneeze without accruing another airline charge. But WOW, the Icelandic airline company has taken the first step in showing the world what a budget airline really looks like. WOW, flights from Iceland to New York are cheap, damn cheap. A round trip ticket is well under $500.
But WOW is getting ready to take the concept of a budget airline one step beyond cheap flight status. The low-cost airline may stop charging for flights, and pay some passengers to fly. That incredible concept is not as far-fetched as some folks think, according to the CEO of WOW, Skuli Morgensen. Paying folks to fly is a reward for the loyal passengers who fly WOW frequently. And if passengers will share their WOW flying experience on social media sites, the “pay you for air travel” thing would be the carrot dangling from the airline kudos they share with others.
Airlines that pay passengers to fly is a concept that sounds too good to be true. But airlines make a lot of money these days on airline programs where banks pay airlines, so the concept of paying passengers to fly is not out of the question. The real question is how much will they pay? And can an airline make a profit by selling perks and getting money from banks? The answer is, maybe. Nothing is certain in the airline industry. Who knows if WOW and other low-cost airlines will still be in business next year or the year after that.