Spirit’s Baldanza: “The basis for this new fee was founded in improved customer service”

Earlier this week, Spirit Airlines announced it would begin charging for carry-on luggage. That drew criticism from the Secretary of Transportation, who I interviewed on Wednesday. I wanted to give Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s chief executive, an opportunity to respond — and to explain the rationale behind charging for carry-on bags. Here’s our interview:

Why did you decide to start charging for carry-on luggage?

Last fall, we identified excessive carry-on baggage as the number-one controllable reason that our planes were being delayed at the gate. We challenged ourselves to eliminate these delays without raising customer prices or Spirit’s costs, and to make the boarding process quicker and easier for our customers.
Read more “Spirit’s Baldanza: “The basis for this new fee was founded in improved customer service””

Spirit Airlines to charge for carry-on bags

Calling it the “next phase” of unbundling, Spirit Airlines a few hours ago announced that it would begin charging passengers for carry-on luggage. Seriously.

From the release:

In order to continue reducing fares even further and offering customers the option of paying only for the services they want and use rather than subsidizing the choices of others, the low fare industry innovator is … progressing to the next phase of unbundling with the introduction of a charge to carry on a bag and be boarded first onto the airplane.

Read more “Spirit Airlines to charge for carry-on bags”

Busted! How to ensure your luggage survives a trip

One minute I was rolling my carry-on bag along the concourse floor at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The next, I was arguing with a useless box on wheels — and dreading what would happen to my back if I had to carry it.

The extendable handle on the bag was stuck, and no matter how hard I tried, it wouldn’t retract. I had to haul the bag on the plane without the help of wheels. With my bad back, I knew I would feel that the next morning.

And I did.
Read more “Busted! How to ensure your luggage survives a trip”