Spirit Airlines Hits Two New Lows
Actually, most of the public press I've seen has made Spirit's carry-on baggage charge seem worse than it really is ... but only a little worse. The airline doesn't plan to charge for all carry-on bags; just those that don't fit under the seat in front of you. Instead, the charge applies only to larger bags that must go into an overhead bin. Spirit says the fee will not apply to some personal items such as cameras, purses, tote bags, and such, but they, too, must be small enough to fit under a seat. And those maximum underseat dimensions are pretty tight: 16-by-14-by-12 inches.
Spirit cites the usual reasons: travelers pay for only what they use, fewer carry-on bags will speed up the boarding process and prevent overuse of the overhead bins, and "improve the overall customer experience." Yeah.
Writers who picked up on this story when it broke also noted that, according to industry reports,
People looking at Spirit's new fee also ask the obvious question: Will other lines decide to do the same? So far, no other line has chimed in on the question, but as I frequently note, "In the airline business, nothing succeeds faster than a bad idea."
Although I think the carry-on fee is, in fact, a bad idea, it isn't the worst of Spirit's new ideas. What I find really annoying is the line's promotion of "Penny Plus" fares for members of its "
The release posts a table showing the "ticket" price for some sample flights as "
Even at the true price, a Spirit flight may sometimes be a good deal. But can you trust an airline that lies this much?
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