Spirit Airlines has a unique reputation in the airline industry. It has become the poster child for fees.
Carry-on fees, checked baggage fees, boarding pass fees. advanced seat assignment fees, legroom fees, round trip fees—you name it, and Spirit was probably the first airline to charge separately for it.
You would think that the budget brand would shy away from its reputation. Fees have long been one of the hated ‘features’ of airline travel since declining from the glory days of Pan Am.
But Spirit loves its reputation. In fact, it’s proud of it, according to USA Today.
“We wear it as a badge of honour,” Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza told USA Today. “We think about it as consumer empowerment … because customers only have to pay for what they actually use.”
Spirit, admirably, claims to be exactly what it is: a budget airline that will save you money, at the cost of service. If you want some service, pay extra. The airline provides a specific type of value in its service, and its customers usually know what they’re getting into.
However, Baldanza’s argument about empowerment may feel disconnected from many consumers, though Spirit’s existing customer base may accept it.
Should Spirit be proud of its infamy? Let us know in the comments.
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