I read an article about Spirit Airlines adding new luggage fees, which increased the amount passengers had to pay for checked and carry-on baggage. That's right, carry-on bags, too. Spirit is the first airline to implement such fees on luggage that people stow in the overhead bins, and I am hoping it is the only one that does it. The airline already has set fees it charges for checking bags, but the new regulations are bumping that number up slightly. Under the new fees, passengers who wait to pay for their bags within 24 hours of flying will be charged an extra $5 to pay online and $10 over the phone. Those who pay at least 24 hours in advance receive the "Early Bird Discount," which means they have to pay the original fee--not much of a special if you ask me.
When I read these stories about airlines hiking fees for the smallest things, I cannot help but wonder if any sane person would continue to fly with them. I have never flown on Spirit Airlines, and I can tell you confidently, I never will. I mean, it is bad enough that every other airline--except Southwest--is charging for checking bags, but to have the audacity to charge a fee for carry-ons is beyond absurd. To play devil's advocate--which I hate to do--the additional fee may prevent people from carrying on large pieces of baggage and taking up all the room in the overhead bins. If they are charged a fee no matter what, they may just opt to check the bag, leaving more space. Still, I fail to see how charging this fee is going to help, because even though that extra money may help to compensate rising gas and commodity costs, it could force people to look elsewhere for flights.
It's move like this one that make me angry with the travel industry, because it has already suffered so much and it pains me to see it continue to struggle. I long for the days when traveling was fun, exciting and almost carefree. You arrived at the airport, checked in your luggage, breezed through quick security lines without taking off your shoes, arrived at your gate, boarded the plane knowing you would have room to store all your personal items, sat down in a roomy seat and waited for your complimentary drink and bag of pretzels. Now, check-ins are bombarded with angry fliers trying to check as few bags as possible or lighten the ones that are too heavy, security lines are epically long and frustrating, boarding is a rat race to get to your seat first and snag precious overhead bin space, seats are cramped, and while that drink option is still there, the pretzels are long gone.
It's a sad world we live in when airlines are so scrapped for money that they have to take away the free pretzels.