Spirit Airlines and the Carry-on Fee

The AJC has an article that describes one senator's effort to turn his anger into change concerning the Spirit Airlines decision to charge for carry-on bags. Unrelated to the senator's efforts, several facts about this situation are frustrating:

  • Spirit has tried to justify the change by claiming that they've offset the $45 fee by lowering prices on tickets by $40. While that's still a $5 increase now, we're not stupid. Those ticket price reductions are temporary and we all know they'll disappear soon as ticket prices return to parity with other airlines. That's the whole point.
  • "Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza has said having fewer carry-on bags will help empty the plane faster." - true, but I have a better idea. There's this big open space under all the seats where you can put stuff. Maybe we should encourage people to give us their luggage so we can put it in that big open space, thus getting it out of the way during passenger loading and unloading. DING!
  • "Charging for checked bags but not carry-ons also means many passengers lug as much as they can onto planes." - hmm, I think I'm making some sort of logical connection here. The thinking goes something like this:
    1. Charge people for doing something they don't have to do (checking baggage).
    2. Thus, encourage them to do it a different way (carry-on).
    3. Now charge them for the alternate method (carry-on). Now we're charging a hidden (not shown in the ticket price) fee for every bag!
    4. PROFIT!

I have an idea for another fee: charging $30 for "premium seats" by putting soft material on exit rows, then (6 months later), putting the soft material on every seat in the plane.

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