Spirit Airlines CEO  suggested the idea of charging passengers to receive customer service from its airport employees (see Orlando Sentinel).  While I know Spirit tends to have lower fares than most value airlines, I personally, don’t like the feeling of being nickeled and dimed.  At a time when most businesses are looking to attract and retain customers, it almost seems as if Spirit is seeing how far they can go before driving away customers.

This week, they implemented their new carry-on bag fee for bags that don’t fit under the airplane seat.  So, if you want to bring clothes with you wherever you go, either don’t pack much, or you’ll pay to check your bags whether you check them through baggage or carry with you.  If you want a seat assigned in advance of your flight, you will pay extra, as well as if you want a specific seat (aisle, more leg room) you will be charged additional.  All this starts to add up and by the time you get the final total for the flight, it is nowhere near the price advertised that attracted you in the first place to call them.

Customers don’t like to feel tricked, manipulated or taken advantage of.  Airlines want to confuse passengers by unbundling services so it makes it harder to do comparison shopping, but how far will all this go?  Guess Spirit Airlines is willing to push that envelope.


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