Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting Into the "Spirit" of Nickle-And-Diming Travelers

Is this woman protecting herself from the stink of high fees? (Photo by B. Brown)
Several years ago, my esteemed colleague Jason Cochran wrote a piece on the fact that, even with their awesomely low fares, the extra fees at Spirit Airlines usually wiped out any difference in price between them and their competitors. It took a lot of math, but that was the researched conclusion. (Sorry, I've looked, but I can't seem to find the article online; I remember it because I edited it.)

My guess is that, with the fee upticks announced yesterday, travelers will likely now pay MORE to fly Spirit than its competition. Because except for those few time-rich souls willing to go to the airport and purchase a ticket at the counter there, all passengers will be charged $34 per round-trip flight for the "privilege" of booking online. That's no typo: $34 (!!) to book online.

That come to double the old fee. The Huffington Post points out that this new fee, in a number of cases, will work out to a additional 40% of the ticket price.

And, taking a page from Ryanair, those who don't print their own tickets at home will have to cough up $5 at the airport to get them.

Wonder if they'll be next announcing the sale of porn on their flights, like Ryanair? Wouldn't put it past 'em.


  1. Your absolutely right.I have found a huge difference in the budget carriers.RyanAir vs Easyjet and in the States Spirit Vs JetBlue and Southwest.Much better to choose their competition unless one is willing to go through all the hoops in not paying those fees. Travel Rob

  2. That is horrible. I flew Spirit for my honeymoon 6 months ago today and it was already full of fees. Advertising low rates and having mandatory booking fees and service charges should be false advertising. Good post. Cheers

  3. A lot of fees would drive away potential customers. They advertise low rates but they charge fees.