|What is Spirit Airlines Thinking?
By: Cindy Wendland
The countdown to Christmas has begun. There are officially only seven Sundays left before Christmas. We’re not sure why the measurement of the number of Sundays was brought to our attention, but it definitely brings the nearness of the holiday in perspective. While we like to think we will keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year long, it can be difficult. (Hint to the driver who wouldn’t let me in on the freeway this morning!) So, as the holidays approach, we tend to become softer-hearted, more loving, more giving, more gentle. Except . . . for Spirit Airlines.
Recently Spirit Airlines announced they are increasing their bag fees for the holidays. What a great gift and what a great way to show their “spirit”?! They are also going to be charging more for carryons. On other airlines, carryons are freebies — the last domain where you cram as much as you can into small bags and shove them in the storage area above your seat. Spirit Airlines decided that since baggage fees are making the airlines so much money, they would be greedy in time for Christmas and try to take more money from air travelers.
If Spirit really wanted to make a terrific marketing statement and win big with their customers, they could have launched a “holiday spirit” campaign and promoted that they will not have any baggage fees during the Christmas season. They might even have garnered goodwill from this act and additional paying customers. With their Scrooge baggage fee attitude, they are just doing great marketing on behalf of Southwest Airlines who does not charge baggage fees. We question Spirit Airline’s accountant, marketing staff, and the other people responsible for this move. Negative PR will not make it a bright Christmas for Spirit. (Frontier has decided to follow suit with Spirit. Boo, boo, boo!)
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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