Friday, May 4, 2012

Charging $100 for a Carry-on!? That’s the ‘Spirit!’

Skyway Robbery!

Is what some are calling Spirit Air’s decision to begin charging passengers as much as $100 for carry-on baggage (you heard us right – CARRY-ONs). It is part of a new pricing strategy expected to launch November 6 – just in time for the year-end rush of holiday travel.

Original Article: CNN Money
Seem a bit outlandish? Spirit already charges $45 per carry-on checked at time of departure – the 55% hike is designed to discourage tendering payment at the gate – an inefficient practice that impedes boarding and on-time departures.

You want to decrease demand? Increase price. It’s really just Economics 101, right? Wrong.

In a hyper-competitive industry and – air-mile reward programs aside – virtually identical products, pricing strategies hold wider implications.

I was led here under false pretenses…

So Spirit touts itself as a no-frill, low-cost airline. But so does Southwest – and yet they don’t charge for carry-ons, heck – they (still) don’t charge for checked bags.

So you think you’re saving $200 by flying Spirit over Airline B, but think again. In pricing tickets low, Spirit is able to earn the patronage of short-sighted deal-hunters up-front.

Once tickets are secured (and, in most cases, non-refundable) the airline re-approaches passengers; hands open wide – recouping incremental dollars on the back-end.

No one likes to feel tricked…

Ok, I'll admit it. This post might have been fueled by raw emotion (having just secured round-trip tickets to Costa Rica via Spirit). Still, this blogger says there ought to be some sort of “what you see is what you get,” total pricing rule levied upon the airline industry – ticket + taxes + fees. With total cost computed upfront, one can make a fully-informed decision when they’re headed for the skies.

1 comment:

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