Once it was rude to cut in line, but today it’s a common perk people can pay for. From airports, to tourist attractions, paying extra can get you where you want to be faster.
With the help of emerging technology, businesses are increasingly offering patrons the ability to skip ahead in line — provided they’re willing to pay a premium for it.
From theme parks to dating apps, customers can pay to go first. Look at these examples:
• Airports: CLEAR (YOU), a private tech firm offering memberships for about $189 per year, allows passengers to speed through the security line.
• Entertainment: Disney (DIS) parks have individual Lightning Lanes, with variable prices typically ranging from $10 to $25, enabling visitors to board rides faster.
These businesses and others are capitalizing on a simple fact: People hate waiting. And technology has been key to speed up customer experiences. Even patrons who aren’t paying to skip ahead in line can pay in advance, reserve spots, and scan tickets from their cell phones. This has become even more commonplace since the pandemic, when more consumers began utilizing mobile payments and pickup orders.
But there has been backlash against these programs too.
For example, there’s a petition calling for Oregon’s Mount Bachelor ski resort to end its fast pass program, which charges extra for access to expedited ski lifts, that has collected more 13,500 signatures. The petition also has the support of Senator Ron Wyden, who warned the fast pass could create a “two-tiered system of access to public lands based on financial ability”.
As tiered access becomes more widespread, it runs the risk of applying a class lens to leisure activities that should bring joy, rather than incite a feeling of injustice.
Looking for more stories like this? Check out On the Money — SoFi’s one-stop-shop for news, trends, and tips!
Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Advisor
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.