Sunday, April 11, 2010

Don't Fly Spirit Airlines!

Spirit Airlines, already the worst of the nickel and diming carriers, has made U.S. travel more of a pain in the wazoo by daring to add a $45 fee for carry-on baggage. The airline previously not only charged for checking luggage, but for selecting a seat in advance.

Of course, if this were a solitary case of desperation, it'd be easy enough to simply avoid this two-bit flyer—but as we've seen time and again, once any carrier adds fees, the others quickly, gleefully fall in line. And I didn't think U.S. airline travel could be made more miserable.

But if New York Sen. Chuck Schumer has his way, Spirit may not get its way. He made a plea to the Treasury Department to rule that carry-on bags are a necessity for travel, which would make them exempt from a separate fee outside the ticket price. Schumer says carry-on bags contain medications and other necessities, while carry-on fees artificially inflate higher ticket prices and taxes.

Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza says fewer carry-on bags will help empty the plane faster. Indeed. And if passengers choose to avoid giving business to this abhorrent airline, planes can unload all the faster.