Don’t let these SOB’s get away with it people! Spirit Airlines announced the other day that they are going to begin charging you to carry on a bag and stow it in the overhead bins! They say it’s an attempt to save time loading and unloading the plane. I say it’s a revenue stream meant to capture passengers in a no win situation. If you pay “ahead of time” to use the bins it will run you $30, compared to $25 to check the bag underneath the plane. However Spirit also charges you a $16 fee to book online (free at the counter). So theoretically you’re trying to save a ton of money and book the ticket at the counter, don’t check a bag and head right to the gate. As we learned from TSA security in last week’s post, they’ll screen pretty much anything you carry through with no restrictions on amount or size. So now you show up to the gate with a roller bag and a personal item. BAM! $45 for your bag to go above your seat. But wait, the CEO Ben Baldanza (sounds like a George Costanza alter-ego) says you can board first if you are paying for the overhead space. Well big whop-de-doo there Benny boy.
Here’s what I’m proposing. If Spirit’s goal is to save time by forcing people to check more bags then I need at least one volunteer per flight (uncompensated unfortunately) to stand up before the plane takes off and make the biggest, loudest, most profane (using partial nudity if necessary) tirade ever so that the plane cannot leave the gate, airport police have to come on board to subdue you (with or without tasers) and the flight can’t leave on time. If just one person per flight does this, Spirit’s already wonderful on time and approval ratings will continue to take a nosedive further increasing the smile on my face.
Note to the airline industry. When first 9-11 and then the financial stuff hit the fan only a few airlines didn’t need government handouts. One of them was Southwest. Do you know why? Because they know how to run their business. They publish all of their rates (ahead of time!) and they let you check your bags for free. That is another reason I will continue to fly them whenever possible.