I wrote about Spirit Air‘s “our way or the highway” hijinks last year around this time. While in this post I spoke about the airline’s death by a thousand cuts mentality (maybe “death” and “airline” aren’t good in the same sentence), Spirit has taken things to a new low and I’m betting that this is the final straw in many consumers’ minds.
As you may have heard, Spirit has decided to charge for carry-on bags. According to them, it will deter people from bringing too much stuff aboard the plane, and permit passengers to board and deplane quickly. How thoughtful of them! Actually, I don’t disagree with that – if you’ve flown at all lately way you’ve seen that way too many folks show up with stuff that ought to be checked. The overhead bins are usually jammed and getting off the plane can take 15 minutes or more.
But we all know why that is. Because the airlines (except Southwest, as they love to let us know) all charge to check bags, including Spirit. Has Spirit decided to repeal their checked bag fees to encourage passengers to check bags? Hmm – let’s see:
Spirit contends the charges will be mostly offset by lower fares and “will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve in-flight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process, all of which ultimately improve the overall customer experience,” Spirit Chief Operating Officer Ken McKenzie said in a statement. “Bring less, pay less. It’s simple.”
Nope. They’ll charge lower fares (cough cough), mostly. Doubtful, and those low advertised fares don’t include:
- the ability to have any bags on the plane
- the ability to check any bags
- a seat assignment
- actually buying the ticket either online or off
- a “passenger usage fee”
- the other taxes and fees the government makes everyone charge
Like many customers, I won’t fly Spirit again after my trip on them next month. Their planes are packed, the service isn’t great, and now the price incentive is going away. We’ve flown them home from Myrtle Beach many times and I think the plane has been on time once. Our pet name for Spirit is “We Don’t Give A Crap Air”. You can see why. I’d rather make a stop someplace and change planes via other airlines.
By the way, the trip next month was booked to have us at our destination mid-day. Spirit decided to change the time of the flight to a couple of hours later and no, we can’t change flights to an earlier one without a $100 change fee. One less nice afternoon on vacation.
Telling your customers to pay for better service or other improvements is fine. Making them feel as if they’re being taken advantage of is crazy. You agree?