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Spirit Airlines’ PR Gurus Spin Carryon Bag Fees, Seats

April 23, 2010 | Posted in: Airfare News,Airline News,Passengers

spirit airlines pr carryon bag fees seats

I’m sure the PR marketing masters over at Spirit Airlines aren’t paid nearly enough – after all, they’re forever waging uphill battles, what with spinning disasters like the discount carrier’s new carryon bag fees (“Everybody wins!”)  and their new airplane seats (“They’re pre-reclined!”).

Plus, they get bloggers like me to write about them, thus, spreading the name of Spirit (“There’s no such thing as bad publicity!”).

Haven’t heard about the new, pre-reclined seats that Spirit is installing? Well, Spirit has two new Airbus 320′s with these seats, which the Palm Beach Post says are “seats that don’t recline”.  That’s a bit different from “pre-reclined” wouldn’t you say? But maybe Spirit fliers don’t care – two cited in the article noted that the carrier’s seats that do recline are already pretty uncomfortable.

But Spirit says these seats have advantages in that they weigh less so they provide the airline with better fuel economy (here’s where the Spirit PR whizzes should be proclaiming, “They’re greener!”).

Okay, that aside – Spirit Airlines is what it is – a low cost carrier with rock bottom prices, little in the way of perks, and a whole lot of fans who love those cheap flights. Oh, and one heck of a marketing team.

8 Responses to “Spirit Airlines’ PR Gurus Spin Carryon Bag Fees, Seats”

  1. “Pre-reclined” is in the same vein as what Lexus says about their used cars. Lexus doesn’t sell “used” cars, they sell “pre-driven” cars.

  2. Rick Seaney says:


    “Pre-driven” is good, and I also hear the phrase “pre-owned” a lot – either way, it spells S-P-I-N.


  3. Elliot says:

    Yes, and this after Spirit’s CEO claim that the carry on fee would actually improve the efficiency of the boarding process. I’d like to know how charging $45 per bag, probably with a good percentage of people needing to pay at the gate, after trying to get away with not paying at all, is going to improve this. Then again, I didn’t really need another reason not to fly Spirit.

  4. frostysnowman says:

    What, no credit card or coin slot in the armrest so they could just charge people to recline? A missed opportunity for extra revenue!

  5. Rick Seaney says:

    Please, Frosty – don’t give them any more ideas!


  6. RC says:

    How about charging for the reading light or air. Afterall, electricity doesn’t grow on trees! ;D

    The Spirit PR team can spin the story all they want. Passengers are just going to call their carry-on baggage “personal item” and carry the rest in their pockets and under their jackets, thus making the seating even more cramped.

    The average carry-on probably weighs only 20-30 lbs; the average passenger weight in their US market is probably around 170 lbs. If this is accurate their carry-on is only 15% of their weight. Since not every passenger brings a carry-on or chooses to just check-in baggage, this average carry-on weight would be further reduced. $45 is a lot to charge for a one-way $100 ticket. This model will just hurt their customers and further increase their awful rating for customer complaints.

    I can see the benefits of some ala-carte style services. However, if the savings aren’t passed onto the passengers, and are just meant to increase the bottomline, this model will fail.

    Apparently they also charge $2 for bottled water. I’d consider water a requirement for safe travel.

    I won’t support them. Other airlines are watching this closely and might consider this if it becomes accepted by the US domestic air travel market. Southwest and JetBlue don’t charge.

  7. Andrew Barefield says:

    The $45 fee really doesn’t bother me that much if what they were espousing was true…what they neglect to tell you is that you need to be a member of the $9 club to get sale fares…one problem I only travel about once a year so a $40.00 (39:95) fee in order to join just raises my airfare $40.00 …this is a non starter for me so Farewell Spirit!

  8. Rick Seaney says:


    If you fly about once a year, that club may not be worth it – you have compare and see (try my favorite website).


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