Hey, tell us how you really feel, Spirit Airlines. The carrier tacked this $2 fee onto its tickets in response to a new rule by the Department of Transportation mandating that airlines allow customers to get a full refund on their tickets within 24 hours of purchase.
|Fees are bad enough on their own, but their names can make them even more frustrating.|
What, exactly, is a "gift ticket"? Does it come in a special envelope tied with a bow? Is it delivered by an owl? Those are a couple of the questions we asked when we heard that Greyhound was charging an $18 "gift ticket" fee. If the company is charging that much and calling it a "gift," there must be some great perks in the offing for the recipient. But it turns out that all you get in exchange for paying this fee is the ability to use your credit card to buy a bus ticket for someone else and have them pick it up at the will-call window.
This $2.50 fee is collected by the airlines, but it actually goes toward funding the Transportation Security Administration's extensive security operations. And while we understand 9/11 necessitated heightened security and that it makes sense for airline passengers to pitch in to cover the high cost, we don't see why it was necessary to put "September 11" in the name -- it's almost as if 9/11 is being invoked here to keep people from complaining about the fee. Plus, is it really necessary to remind people of one of the the nation's worst aviation disasters every time they buy a plane ticket? "Convenience Fee"
We're fine with paying a convenience fee when the company has to incur additional costs to provide us with an extra service. But often with a "convenience fee," it seems the company is penalizing us for making its life easier. Numerous companies charge you for "convenience" that doesn't actually cost them anything, and one recent example that comes to mind is Verizon, which introduced a $2 fee for wireless customers who pay individual bills online or over the phone. While we understand that it's slightly more convenient for the company when a customer enrolls in autopay rather than paying each bill individually, it hardly makes sense that customers should have to pay extra for the privilege of reviewing each bill and paying it individually. It makes even less sense that customers could avoid the fee by mailing in a check, which surely takes more of the company's time to process. Following an uproar by customers, Verizon canceled the fee just a day later. >To submit a news tip, email: email@example.com. Follow TheStreet on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.