Flying has become cheaper in the last few decades, but it’s also become more stripped down. Passengers often forego previously complimentary perks — like in-flight meals, carry-on bags, and seat selection — in order to get the cheapest fare.
In some ways, this has been good by creating competition between airlines, resulting in cheaper fares — but it has also had negative consequences. Airlines now have incentive to cut costs in order to boost profits. For passengers, that means more crowded flights, fewer amenities, and “basic economy” fares.
Airlines know that travelers prefer the cheapest ticket, regardless of how stripped down the service is or how many extra fees there may be.
“The low-cost carrier always won because people either don't care or aren't sophisticated enough to differentiate between a bundled and unbundled fare,” Vinay Bhaskara, a senior business analyst with industry publication Airways, told Business Insider.
It’s not unreasonable to choose the cheapest options, but when it comes to airfare, you get what you pay for.