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Spirit Airlines CEO on New Carryon Fee: “Everyone Wins!”

April 13, 2010 | Posted in: Airfare News,Airline News,Multimedia

spirit airlines carryon fee

UPDATE: See video of the CEO in an overhead bin, below.

The embattled CEO of Spirit Airlines, Ben Baldanza, is catching a lot of flak for instituting a $20-$45 carryon bag fee – including some nasty comments from government officials.

So Mr. Baldanza has sent out a mass email saying, “our latest innovation” is designed to save customers time and money.

I’m not so sure about the money part, especially if you wait to check your bag at the gate where you’ll have to fork over $45 – but he has a point about carryons, in that they slow security lines and boarding, and crowd the overhead bins. But how about policing the situation? If your bag doesn’t fit in that metal template at the gate, check it and charge for it.

But that’s not Spirit’s plan – instead, Mr. Baldanza is going the fee route, proclaiming that “Everyone wins!” because, “We expect total prices to be lower.”

And toward that end, they are instituting “one cent fares”. Of course, they’re not really penny fares, not after you pay the $40 club fees that are required, plus the taxes and other add-ons, along with the bag charges – but, they’ll still be a bargain, if the plane takes you where you want to go, when you want to go, but – how long will that last?

Surely, there are better ideas – and effectively policing the carryon brigade might be one of them.

13 Responses to “Spirit Airlines CEO on New Carryon Fee: “Everyone Wins!””

  1. Johanna says:

    I *wish* the airlines would police carryons more closely. Every time I fly, I go to the airline’s website, look up their restrictions for cabin baggage and adhere to them. I then arrive at the airport and folks are dragging on cases the size of refrigerators – usually trying to avoid a checked-bag fee.

    It particularly rankles when I’ve had to check my (cabin-legal) bag because space-hogging passengers ahead of me managed to fill up all of the overhead space before I even boarded the plane.

    Airlines should start enforcing the carry on requirements, or quit pretending to have any. A rule that is not enforced is not a rule…

  2. Rick Seaney says:


    Couldn’t agree with you more.


  3. Beverly Rosenstein says:

    I spoke my mind yesterday, but this guy must think we are all stupid or dense! Look, if Spirit agents just checked to see before you go on how big the bag is, like I said the width, depth and length with a measuring device that US Airways uses, then they could say, “you need to check it.” They are always late no matter what, so who are they fooling. I have been detained on Spirit more than any other airlines which is why they better give some fine discounts!

  4. Rick Seaney says:


    I suppose they think if everyone had to go back and check their too-big bags, it would drag out the boarding even more – but maybe not, if people knew the “baggage police” were going to be out there, enforcing these rules.

    Thanks for writing.

  5. rainyb says:

    Like I said in another post on this topic yesterday, make “everyone” check their bags at check in, even Elite members & those who checked in online. You have to get your destination strip anyway, right, so do it there, NOT at security or your boarding gate. “All” bags, incl carryons, should be weighed & measured there, not at the departure gate. grrrrrrr

  6. Rick Seaney says:


    Sure makes sense to me.


  7. private says:

    I tell you what, people ruined it for themselves ad Iam glad they are charging, people are trying to avoid the baggage charge and there bringing more bags on the plane, it has become more crazy and slow when boarding. if we followed the rules and checked in the luggage then this would not happen!

  8. private says:

    hey mr ceo, I got another tip for you. do not allow any bags on the plane and everyone has to check there bags in and mr senator can not do a dam thing!

  9. private says:

    Mr CEO have everyone check in luggage and no luggage enters plan except laptop and purse an no senator can do a dam thing!

  10. Tim says:

    I’m a travel agent and I have had at least 10 clients tell me they will now start driving the short hauls and have had their fill of the unbundled fees and security hassle. This new model isn’t working!

  11. Rick Seaney says:


    Interesting…interesting. Anyone else out there thinking of doing the same?

    Thanks for writing.

  12. Cigar Jon says:

    LA to San Diego = Train
    New York City to Washington DC = Train
    Chicago to Milwaukee = Train
    Los Angeles to Perth = opps da plane!

  13. Rick Seaney says:


    LA to San Diego? I’d drive.


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