Stories from my 14-month study abroad in Buenos Aires, my 16-month post-college move to Miami, and my get-me-the-hell-out-of-Miami move to Denver

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Truth About Spirit Airlines Carry-On Baggage Fees

Since I fly Spirit so much, I feel like I have to be their one lone voice of defense in the world of the airline industry.

Want to know why I love Spirit? I'll tell you why.

I'm moving to Denver in 10 days, and I just purchased a one-way flight AND two checked bags for $100. Show me any other airpline where a similar flight would be possible. You can't, only Spirit can or will offer prices like that.

Though I understand that people get upset with Spirit because of their baggage fees, you have to understand, they have purpose, to increase efficiency.

Let's look at the carry-on fee that everyone complains about.

"$45 for a carry on? That's robbery!" scream the masses.

It's only $25 to check the same bag, even a bigger bag for that matter.

Did you every wonder why they charge MORE for carry-on luggage?

It's really quite simple, carry-on baggage slows down both the boarding and unboarding procedures and therefore reduces the possible number of legs a given aircraft can fly in a certain day, cutting into an airline's already slim profit margins.

Ponder this, how many times have you got called to board your flight and found yourself waiting in the jetway for 15 minute, wondering why there is such a hold-up?

I'll tell you, it's because of the people that are dragging on huge carry-ons, trying to get them to fit in the overheard bin, re-adjusting them, and overall slowing down the boarding.

By the time they even started the boarding process, all the checked baggage was already loaded into the aircraft. They start loading departing baggage the second they get the arriving luggage out of the cargo hold. Therefore, by encouraging people to check their luggage, instead of carrying it on, they can streamline boarding.

Case in point:

Imagine, for one minute, if no one had a carry on. People would walk into the aircraft, find their seat, sit down (and do the obligatory seat shuffle), the doors would latch and the flight would be taking off on time, if not earlier.

However, when every Tom, Dick, and Harry has a carry-on that they NEED to bring with them, they delay takeoff by 30 minutes by hindering everyone else from getting into their seat. Multiply that by 6 flights per aircraft per day, and carry-on loading time has added three extra hours of wasted time to the aircraft's usable hours. Those three hours could easily accommodate one more Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta flight for the day, adding a few more dollars to bottom line.

I can hear it already, people complaining that they don't feel like airlines should be able to make a decent profit by adding additional flights per day at the expense of carry-on bag fees, etc. Maybe you're one of those that is against the airline making a profit. You're perfectly entitled to your opinion.

However, are you also against landing before your scheduled arrival time?

Do you enjoy waiting for 20 minutes in the jet-way, when you could have already been taxing to the runway?

I didn't think so.

Please look beyond an airline making profit. Look at the fact that all those people with carry-on baggage are slowing down your flight.

So, the next time you're complaining about how horrible it is that Spirit charges for a carry-on, think about the fact that by getting people to check their luggage, they're helping ensure that you arrive to your destination on time.


PS- Just so you know, I have no affiliation with Spirit. Since I enjoy travel and fly them quite often (since I live in South Florida), I've just become sick and tired of hearing the complaints about them.

My last rant:

Don't like Spirit's lack of amenities during your flight?

Do you want "free" inflight food?

Do you want "free" refreshments and maybe some "free" entertainment?

Great, go fly another airline and pay the extra $150 for all those "free" in-flight amenities.

I'll happily take the $150 that flying Spirit saved me and go buy a nice four-course dinner when I land, on time, in my destination city.

1 comment:

DustinSBranham said...

Looking fwd to your blog posts as you settle into Denver