Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 7, 2010 08:16 AM
In the true spirit of airline travel today, Spirit Airlines has announced it will charge upwards of $30 for every carry-on bag too large to squeeze under a seat – and that’s each way.
It’s an economic food chain: with airlines charging for more than one bag checked (begun in 2005), travelers are checking fewer bags. One out of every four travelers in 2009 did not check luggage at all. This has resulted in more cargo space left empty, and fewer fees for mishandled bags – so to make up the difference, the in-plane charge-per-bag has begun.
Ben Baldanza, CEO, Spirit Airlines, sums it up thus: “Nobody brings their package to FedEx or UPS and expects them to ship it for free.”
The real rub is that the financial boon to the airlines from baggage fees has set a precedent impossible to ignore. Bag fees skyrocketed from $464 million three years ago to $2 billion in nine months of 2009.Continue reading...