One solution to paying fees for checked baggage — carrying your baggage onto the flight — is on its way out. Privately-held Spirit Airlines announced today it’s going to start charging as much as $45 for carry-on luggage that’s put in an overhead bin. The airline said anything stuffed under the seat in front of passengers will still be free, which should add a new headache to the boarding process.
“Bring less; pay less. It’s simple,” Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer Ken McKenzie said in a statement.
So far no other airlines have followed suit. “I personally think that would spark a major customer backlash,” Standard & Poor’s analyst Jim Corridore told Reuters. “The general public is sick and tired of fees. They pay them because they have to.”
Is that true? Does the paying public have to? Or do they just consider exercising what little power they have as consumers (not flying) a less appealing alternative to paying airline fees?. Airlines charge fees because customers will pay them.
Spirit Air has several schemes to get around the fee. It’s lowering its airfares — in some cases to a penny, and charging “fees” for the cost of getting you to where you want to go. The Seattle Post Intelligencer does the math on that:
If you fly from Detroit to Las Vegas, the 1 cent ticket, plus the $54.22 in fuel costs, plus $18.70 in taxes adds up to be $72.93… and you must be a $9 Fare Club member to have access to this sale, which costs $39.95 a year. Compared with pre-Penny Saver fares, the savings are about $40 — just slightly lower than what travelers on Spirit will have to pay if they carry-on bags. For those of you that travel without any luggage or take quick day-trips, this might be the deal for you.