Is Spirit Airlines About to Break Another Fee Barrier?

Airlines already price tickets based on passenger demand. This is why Tuesdays and Wednesdays – when most of us don’t want to travel – are usually the cheapest days to fly. So what if an airline tied the price of its fees to demand? Spirit is considering it.

Spirit and the dying veteran

Higher Fees for Popular Flights

In a revealing interview, Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza tells the AP, “This is something we’ve been thinking about for a while,” though he adds that it is not a foregone conclusion. What they’ve been thinking about is raising the price of fees for flights during more popular times and/or days to fly (which on most airlines are Fridays and Sundays).

Fee that Might Rise

Among specific fee hikes being kicked around:

  • Baggage. Note: Spirit already charges for both checked and carry-on luggage
  • Seat selection. Note: Spirit does not allow any free seat selection – passengers who do not pay are assigned seats randomly

Could this happen? When it comes to fees and Spirit, anything is possible but few expect changes within the next few months, if they happen at all.

Airline execs more outrageous than Spirit’s CEO? Right here

 Is Spirit ‘Fee Crazed’

A recent article in Time magazine referred to Spirit as “fee crazed” while FareCompare once suggested the airline’s affinity to fees was “shameless” but the strategy has been working for the small Florida-based carrier which keeps making money. Spirit fans love the sometimes dirt-cheap fares and are willing to put up with fees for soft drinks and carry-ons and sometimes even major difficulties like the occasional flight from hell. CEO Baldanza once famously dismissed a Spirit passenger who was not happy with his flight by saying, “[He] will be back when we save him a penny.”


Published: November 4, 2013