What is next for airlines?

“Oh, by the way, you DO know there is a cost to carry on that small bag of yours, right?” WAIT, WHAT? Now you have to pay to bring ANYTHING on a plane? I think this is absolutely ridiculous!

In a world where we pay extra fees for everything, it is hard to imagine that there could be just one more thing that costs. Spirit Airlines recently announced they will charge $45 for a carry-on bag if you pay at the gate and $30 if you pay before you arrive at the gate. The exclusive members of Spirit’s Fare Club STILL have to pay as well, but the fee will be ONLY $20 and they get to board to plane first.

According to The American Association for Nude Recreations, travelers don’t even need a carry on bag: “To avoid added baggage stress as you embark upon a vacation, whose purpose is to de-stress and rejuvenate you, plan a Nakation – a vacation to a nudist resort!”

So, perhaps airlines need to be prepared for when the nudist colonies decide to travel. Will the new airline banners say, “No shirt, shoes, no service”?

Irish airline Ryanair announced that they will begin charging to use the toilet. Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said, “By charging for the toilets we are hoping to change passenger behavior so that they use the bathroom before or after the flight.” All I can say is…..good luck on those international flights!

Although Spirit Airlines offers very low fares, how much are you willing to compromise? Free drinks and pay toilets? No drinks and free toilets? No drinks, no food, no toilets and naked people on your flight?  They carry no baggage, no pun intended.

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10 Responses to What is next for airlines?

  1. kmcnally says:

    Wow, i can’t believe this. Being from out of state to attend school, i fly at least 4 times a year back and forth, and up until just recently i never had to worry about taking bags home with me and checking them, but now thats a different story. I went home over the holiday break in December and i had to pay for my first luggage bag. Thirty five dollars to take a bag with me? WHAT? I am sorry but we already pay so much to fly to begin with, why do we need to pay more to bring our luggage with us? It is ridiculous. I believe that Southwest Airlines is the only one right now not charging for baggage, but because every other airline has started, when will Southwest, they are bound to? And we start at a $35 fee, what will it be a year from now? Do you think it will ever get higher, to the point that it comes close to being almost half of what your ticket costs? Who knows, but this has gotten out of hand. Airlines are charging more for tickets because of the down economy, so why should we pay more for baggage?

  2. kwashburn says:

    This is so ridiculous. I already thought it was a bad idea to charge for a small extra bag, but now it is just becoming too extreme. I am constantly making short trips from Arizona to California, usually last minute, sometimes even for a night. If I have to pay hundreds of dollars in extra fees for petty things like the bathroom then it isn’t even worth it anymore. I would much rather drive, which means airlines will most likely be losing money from consumers. I understand that the economy is not in the best state right now, but there has to be an alternative to this, otherwise they are only hurting themselves.

  3. cwilusz says:

    i think is this truly unbelievable. Yes, I know the economy is bad but charging to use the toilet!? I think the airlines are just getting out of hand. Personally, I think they should just jack up the ticket price a little so that people do not even realize because prices are always fluctuating and you’re paying all your fees at one time. I hate having to remember that before I go to the airport to take out cash to pay for my bags.. and I guess now in case I might have to pee!

  4. a_hundza says:

    I also thought this was ridiculous when I heard it. I can’t believe that they are so willing to anger customers (loyal and not) without any word regarding the change, from what I know.
    Personally, I feel this is a horrible PR move. To be in a business that is already suffering and then be the first to rip an extra buck out of consumers’ pockets is bad news. You’d think that other airlines would be learning from Southwest Airlines and their business methods. Granted they have cut back extras and novelties in the air, but they are the only ones still not charging for any checked bag, or carry-on, and business is booming! Just makes me wonder what the thinking is on this new fee…

  5. acarlin says:

    I just saw this on the news, and its absolutely ridiculous! This is not only a horrible PR move, but it’s a horrible move in general for the sales of the airline. I will NEVER fly Spirit again (I actually don’t think I ever have). I thought it was ridiculous for airlines to charge for checked bags, but this is just taking it way too far. The people who thought of this idea at Spriti Airlines needs to understand that the economy is affecting everyone- not just corporations. People won’t be able to afford to pay for this on top of the price of the ticket. I don’t think anyone is going to receive this new policy warmly.

  6. dsmith says:

    This has to be the worst business strategy I’ve seen in a while. In a world where so many things are free and at our fingertips– news, music, Googling, etc.– this is a bad choice. Excluding the fact that I had never heard of Spirit Airlines prior to this story, I don’t see how their business could prosper when customers ultimately choose another airline that doesn’t charge for carry-ons. Not to mention Spirit can no longer adhere to their tagline “the leading Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the U.S” if they are the only airline charging for carry-on baggage. On the other hand, people had a similar reaction the first time airlines started charging for bags going in the cargo area so who knows how it will play out.

  7. Carleen says:

    When I first heard about this, I too was appalled. It’s interesting how these two stories — Spirit Airlines charging for carry-on baggage and Ryanair charging for restroom usage — broke at about the same time. Both seem to pertain to greedy airlines “nickel and diming” customers for their most basic needs. Certainly both stories are “bad press” for these companies.

    Even though other airlines may not be outspoken on this, they are certainly closely watching these test cases. While I doubt the bathroom policy will catch on because it seems so ridiculous, I think charging for carry-on luggage might soon be adopted by more mainstream airlines. When airlines first eliminated on-flight meals and snack service, people were angry, but that practice has now become permanent. The same is true for most airlines’ policies on checked baggage. Once the initial shock and outcry wear off, people tend to view a policy as the new norm.

    I suppose a big takeaway from this situation, from a PR standpoint, is that a company (in this case, an airline) that is the first to adopt an unpopular policy faces backlash and damage, but the companies that are the last to adopt face financial backlash. Companies that do not adopt these policies, such as Southwest Airlines in the case of checked-baggage charges, enjoy positive reactions and sentiment that may help overcome financial shortcomings. Of course, only time will tell if Southwest remains so generous, and if the other companies will continue to allow us to bring on our carry-on luggage for free.

  8. cmcelroy says:

    I saw this on the news and I about did a spit take. I can’t imagine EVER flying on Spirit knowing that I’d have to pay to carry on a bag. I understand that the economic climate makes it difficult to turn a profit, and people are trying to find ways to be creative… but seriously? I keep thinking of Southwest Airlines ad campaign following the announcement of several other airlines’ intents to charge for checked bags. Southwest showed their employees reacting to the news in disbelief. The slogan was “We love your bags.” I thought that was a brilliant response to the shift in other airlines’ business models, and one that was inevitably really beneficial to Southwest. I can’t help thinking that this is going to turn out the same way. It seems to me that Spirit is going to have to dig themselves out of this PR hole, because right now the reception is not good. I think it says something that I, like DSmith, had never heard of Spirit before this. If the first time the public learns of your organization’s name is because of bad news or scandal, you might want to rethink your strategy.

  9. aguido says:

    I honestly believed it was a huge joke that passengers were being charged to use the toilet on the plane. I saw some people making fun of it on the Web, and thought it seemed prank-worthy. It is completely insane that an airline is actually doing that. I don’t think many more would get away with that, and yes, it was a horrible public relations move to even make. They’re going to lose so many customers because of such a silly thing.

    Now onto charging for the carry ons, which is ridiculous though not so ludicrous as the bathroom charges. I was appalled at the audacity of airlines to charge to check your bag, and some that charge to check additional bags. Isn’t the ticket price high enough? They cram you in like sardines (unless you’re lucky enough to get the beloved exit row seats) and expect you to pay extra for the items that are necessary to you? Will they be charging for hair length next? Perhaps a few inches takes up that many more inches of room and therefore must be metered? THAT is how obnoxious all of this seems to me. I understand the airlines are suffering, but adding on these little extra costs looks so much worse than say increasing the ticket price by a percentage or two. It scares off far more people when you say there will be a ten dollar charge for any bag, or whatever the cost is now.

  10. jmetz says:

    This is the most ridiculously insane thing I have heard in a while. My dad takes a plane to Arizona every couple of weeks and he always brings a small bag with him. I think he is giving the airline enough money. I am also speechless about the Irish airline Ryanair that announced they will begin charging to use the toilet. This is just absurd. I had to read it a couple of times, because I thought it was a joke. It has been such a drastic change in just a few years. First it was free to have any bags, food, usage of toilets and carry-on bags. Then it was paying for luggage and food, now it is paying for carry-on bags, luggage, food, toilet usage. What can possibly be next, forget it I don’t want to even know.

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