Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Airlines want you to love the way they fly.
At heart, though, they really want you to give them more and more money.
In extremely heartening news today -- for the airlines, that is -- estimates of airline profits for 2016 have been raised from $36.3 billion to $39.4 billion.
When you add up those nickels and dimes, they really make a lot of money.
One airline, though, has suddenly begun to think that it might be annoying passengers.
Ryanair, the Irish airline known for being to passengers what a finger in the eye is to wrestlers, has made a stunning announcement.
The airline has decided to reduce the number of different baggage fees it charges to a mere six.
You might think there is no joy of six.
You might think six still seems unreasonably complicated. You might think six smacks of the ability to gouge in many different ways.
I couldn't possibly disagree.
The thing is, that the six represents a reduction of 102 in the number of baggage fees Ryanair had on its books. Yes, there used to be 108 baggage fees on Ryanair.
In its previous golden years, the airline computed the fee to charged on the basis of variables including weight, distance traveled, time of booking, time of the year and whether Ireland won the Eurovision Song Contest.
I only made that last one up.
This sudden switch to a mere six fees means -- at least according to the airline -- that 92 percent of passengers will have their baggage fees reduced.
Please bathe in the sheer reasonableness of this Ryanair statement: "Over 92 percent of our customers will enjoy reduced bag fees and will pay the same price for checking-in a bag whether bought at the time of the initial booking or added to the booking, regardless of seasonality. Furthermore, customers will also be able to add bags to their bookings via the Ryanair app up to 3 hours before their scheduled time of departure."
Ryanair customers must have felt giddy on reading this. They must have performed a Riverdance of glee.
The mere idea that you can actually change your mind about how many bags you need to take up to 3 hours before departure is a traveler's manna.
I can see passengers bowing to the Ryanair staff as they check in. I can see them walking up to the counter and ululating with excitement.
Recently, airlines have become completely detached from the realities of human life.
The latest charge by some is a fee for actually having the gall to sit with your family.
And just wait for some of the new fees that might be coming your way.
What might have driven Ryanair to this sudden attack of humanity?
You will be instantly turned into Lot's Wife when I tell you that by thinking about its passengers, the airline has begun to make a lot more money.