This month, Spirit Airlines began its new policy for charging passengers for carry-on bags that don't fit under the seat in front of them. So far, some travelers on the airline not amused. Will the new policy last, or has Spirit made a big mistake?
Although such a fee seems like a flagrant attempt by an airline to further nickel-and-dime its customers, there are some reasons why flyers could actually be better off with such a policy. Ultimately, it will provide allow for greater spending discretion, lower base ticket prices, and a smoother airport experience with fewer delays. Once customers get used to the change, it will also allow for greater transparency in pricing. But will customers learn to embrace the change?
An article from USA Today cites some passenger disgust regarding the new fees:
"It's ridiculous for a carry-on," Pat Spadafora, a 65-year-old passenger from Florida, told the Press of Atlantic City (N.J.) on Sunday as she waited to board a Sprit flight Sunday.
Echoing those sentiments was Lori Gorzynski, a Spirit passenger flying out of Orlando. Speaking to Channel 13 News of Orlando, Gorzynski also called the fee "ridiculous," adding: "Why pay for carry-on? They already charge you for your flight. You have to pay for your luggage, to get checked and carry-on, it's just another fee process."
Of course, Spirit would likely respond that it's no more ridiculous than charging for food. An in-flight meal was also once thought of as an expected luxury when flying -- like a large carry-on item. But just as people got used to a world with no free lunch, so might they adjust to no free luggage. The article has another reaction:
And, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Spirit passenger Nicole Schneider tells WBMF News TV the fee caught her off guard on her Sunday flight.
"Obviously I have to pay it so I paid it, but it will probably hinder my chances of booking with Spirit again," Schneider told the station.
Of course, this is sort of a training exercise for some consumers. Anyone caught off guard won't be next time. And will passengers like Schneider really refuse to book again with Spirit? Maybe, but maybe not.