Spirit Airlines

Another Reason to Avoid Spirit Airlines: Surge pricing for baggage fees



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Spirit Airlines CEO Ted Christie added another reason to avoid flying with Spirit Airlines–charging  a higher bag fee for high demand travel dates. He notes that the airline industry has done a remarkably good job tapping into maximizing ticket price revenue by charging appropriate fares based on highly demanded travel dates or other customer desires. Now he wants to see the industry use this to manage other ancillary revenue streams.

Christie is basically saying that because there can be as few as two bags in the belly of the aircraft in September 23 and reversely bags being left behind on the tarmac on December 23, there should and is a way to maximize revenues based on demand. “We have a supply-demand problem,” Christie stated. “So we believe there are opportunities…to price that product that will drive incremental revenue.”

Apart from only flying Spirit a handful of times, the lack of customer service, horrible inflight experience, and now this push for charging a fee for luggage based on demand will leave me avoiding Spirit Airlines at all costs. I only see this pushing more people move towards traveling with carry-one size luggage at all costs.

It’s really unfortunate that Spirit has some amazing routes and cheap on-sale fares. Maybe sooner than later these routes will be up for grabs…

Would you be willing to pay more to check a bag during high demand travel dates?

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2 Comments

  • I think too often Spirit gets a bad rap for the fees they charge. Yes, they charge extra fees that may seem irritating when compared to other airlines, but at the prices you can get with Spirit I will continue to fly Spirit. Even with the fees Spirit charges you cannot beat Spirit’s prices. With my wife and I and four kids, traveling can be very expensive…but not with Spirit, especially if you follow these two tips:

    1) Something that should be publicized more often…buy your tickets at the airport! Yes, that’s right…it is CHEAPER to buy your tickets at the airport than buying them online at Spirit. Why Spirit does it like this, I have no clue, but it makes a cheap rate become RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP. This is how it works…the price quoted online is the ONLINE price. The price at the counter is $33.98 cheaper for each roundtrip ticket. For our family of six, we save an extra $203.88 by buying our tickets at the counter! This $33.98 is hidden in the fees, but you will see it listed as “Passenger Usage Fee” if you click on the “More Information” tab on the final Purchase Price page of a flight you would like to take. Yes, it is more of a hassle to get tickets at the airport, but for us the hassle is worth the $203.88 savings. A tip: I always bring a spreadsheet with each of my family members’ names, their date of birth, and their frequent flier numbers so when I go to the Spirit counter at the airport the employee just types in the information on my spreadsheet rather than me having to spell out and repeat information.

    2) Bring a pillow with you – king size is best. Spirit doesn’t charge if you bring a pillow, and they don’t care what your pillow is stuffed with. We typically pull the pillow from the pillow case, carefully fold long pants, skirts, and shirts around the pillow and place this back in the pillow case. Carry the pillow on with you and keep if on your lap on the flight! Easy solution to taking more clothes with you on your trip, avoiding the baggage fees. Since there is no charge for a bag you place under your seat, put bulky items in that bag, and along with the item brought on in your pillow you should avoid the baggage fees!

    Follow these tips and you will love Spirit as much as my family and I do. If it wasn’t for Spirit we would not have seen so many great cities and had so many great travel memories. SPIRIT ROCKS!

    • @ Joe – Spirit definitely offers some great deals on flights, I remember scoring a roundtrip from LAX to Guatemala City for $9 back in college. If you can grab these hot deals they can be worth taking, but I think there are large differences in the quality of customer service and experience from flying Spirit compared to other airlines. I guess you get what you pay for…