Would you Pay an Extra $45 to Fly Spirit Airlines?
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In a daring move to aid its bottom line, low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines has announced that it will begin charging passengers for their carry-on bags. Needless to say, the move has sparked outrage among travelers.
Reuters reported Houston-based car blogger and frequent traveler Adam Barrera, 24, as saying that "the overhead space was sacred. Now it's like there's nothing sacred anymore."
His thoughts were mirrored by the editor-in-chief of travel information site JohnnyJet.com, John DiScala, who's never flown Spirit. Reuters quoted him as saying, I would pay $5 for guaranteed space right over my seat, like a locker. But $45?"
Indeed, up to $45 each way is how much Spirit Airlines said it will begin charging travelers who pay at the gate for each carry-on bag that doesn't fit under the seat. If they pay in advance, they get charged less -- $30 per carry-on bag.Spirit's CEO, Ben Baldanza explained that reducing the number of carry-on bags is a good thing. Why? Because it would help empty the aircraft more rapidly, the Associated Press reported him as saying. Meanwhile, Spirit's chief operating officer Ken McKenzie said in a statement that its recent actions 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." "Bring less; pay less. It's simple," McKenzie said with an upbeat tone. The airline, in fact, is trying to frame the move in a positive light -- by, for example, making references to reductions in check-in baggage fees, concurrent with its announcement of carry-on fees.
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