Spirit Airline: No Free Bags (or Sodas)
Spirit Airlines deserves some sort of spin award for its latest press release, which notes, by the way, that it's going to start charging for checked luggage and beverages.
The headline on the release reads, "GREAT NEWS! Spirit Airlines Lowers Fares, Many Up to 40%, and Now Gives Customers The Opportunity To Customize Their Travel Experience And Save!" It goes on to talk about empowering customers to customize their travel experience, and liberating them from being forced into paying for services they don't desire. Then, buried in a list of "Spirit Optional Services & Products" between travel insurance and discounted airport parking is "onboard beverages and snacks." Checked luggage is tucked in farther down.
You then have to go deep into the Spirit Airlines site to find out the details. Under the travel tools banner, scroll down to travel policies, and you'll find that beginning June 20, you'll pay $1 for juices, sodas and hot drinks (water will still be free). And, also beginning June 20, you'll pay $5 each for the first or second checked bag (up to 50 pounds) if you book it online ahead of time ($10 each if you do it at the airport). Don't even think about a third bag -- that'll cost $100.
Perhaps even more interesting is this new language: "Spirit can only guarantee the transportation of one item as checked luggage per fare paying customer... Spirit cannot guarantee that there will be space for extra bags, and will not be held responsible for any additional items brought to the airport by the customer."
Spirit is the first U.S. carrier to go this route; it became the first U.S. airline to charge for a second piece of luggage effective Feb. 10. European discount airlines have been charging for luggage and drinks for a long time (they also sell lottery tickets). Some of us believe that, unless the masses protest, most discount U.S. airlines will soon follow.
So what do you think? Would you rather just pay for all the extras, especially if it means cheaper fares, as Spirit claims? Or are they just nickel-and-diming us to death? And is the media person who came up with the spin on that press release an evil genius or should he/she go to work for a presidential candidate?
By the way, the press release goes on to talk up some 1-cent fares that the airline is offering. If you can nab them, may be worthwhile, although I've found that the dates/places don't usually work, and they sell out very quickly.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: DanTheMan | March 6, 2007 3:45 PM
Posted by: Arlington, VA | March 6, 2007 3:46 PM
Posted by: WDC | March 6, 2007 3:50 PM
Posted by: Steve | March 6, 2007 4:09 PM
Posted by: eh | March 6, 2007 4:35 PM
Posted by: Glenn | March 6, 2007 4:50 PM
Posted by: Jake | March 6, 2007 4:53 PM
Posted by: Tomcat | March 6, 2007 5:49 PM
Posted by: Ryan | March 6, 2007 7:02 PM
Posted by: Need My Stuff! | March 7, 2007 8:44 AM
Posted by: PJ | March 7, 2007 12:19 PM
Posted by: Jerry | March 7, 2007 12:33 PM
Posted by: embee | March 7, 2007 1:35 PM
Posted by: h3 | March 7, 2007 4:16 PM
Posted by: Frank | March 7, 2007 5:49 PM
Posted by: Liz | March 7, 2007 6:32 PM
Posted by: TL | March 9, 2007 11:26 AM
Posted by: LN | March 14, 2007 8:22 PM
Posted by: Charles Ferrall | March 19, 2007 3:03 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.