The airline industry tends to experience enormous fluctuations. Revenues rise and fall due to unpredictable circumstances like world fuel prices and geo-political upheavals and security emergencies. To make up for these losses, it has become the norm for airlines to find different ways to demand extra fees and surcharges from passengers. In this brave new world, no one is better at extracting dollars from customers’ pockets than Spirit Airlines. Billed as the quintessential economy airline, Spirit uses every “cheap” trick in the book to offer low air fares and still stay profitable. Below are five of their main money-earning schemes.
Paying for Overhead Luggage Storage:
We all know that the luggage check-in fee has become the go-to method for airlines to pad their bottom lines. So the way most avid travelers have been avoiding this charge is packing lighter and using the space underneath their seat as well as overhead cabins for transporting their luggage. But flyers beware – this strategy will not work on Spirit. In this airline, just for opting to use the overhead compartments, you will be charged up to $45 for a one-way trip. Call it smart business or a keen money-earning method – it’s more accurate to call it “plain cheap.”
Crammed Seating & Limited Foot Space:
When it comes to the seating on Spirit Airlines, they tend to operate by the following rule “Stack passengers up like sardines and watch the money pile up. First of all, the seats on Spirit Airlines do not recline at all, so forget about leisurely leaning back to read the culture section of the New York Times. Secondly, the concept of legroom has been totally banished for this airline. While even airlines like JetBlue allow the passengers 34-38 inches of legroom, Spirit offers a meager 28 inches.
No such thing as Free Drinks:
At this point, the most avid travelers are already used to being asked to fork a dollar for almost any reason on airplanes. It doesn’t even matter whether that particular item or service is a basic necessity or not. However with Spirit Airlines, they manage to take the bar lower than you could imagine. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Complimentary Drink?” Well that terminology does not exist in the Spirit Airlines world. If you happen to be thirsty, a coffee will cost you $2 and a Sprite, Coke or water will run you $3. Considering how common it is for passengers to get dehydrated during flights, this money-making strategy is pretty shrewd.
Charging You for an Assigned Seat:
You definitely have to hand to the marketing and accounting people at Spirit for being able to squeeze dollars out of almost everything. Another one of their newest strategies is having passengers pay for an assigned seat. For example, if you are travelling with your family, it just makes sense that you will be able to purchase seats in the same row or at least in the same section. Not with Spirit though – seating is assigned on a completely random basis. And if you really want to get an assigned window or aisle seat, you will be charged up to $15 dollars for this request. The hits never stop coming.
If all else fails, sell all your cabin space to advertisers who will shill their products and services anywhere. Spirit Airlines have allowed companies to come in and buy different sections of the plane’s interior cabin for advertising purposes. You could see plastered ads for timeshares, casinos and even cable networks. It’s bad enough that you have to sit in a crammed seat for your entire trip, but now you are surrounded by shameless advertising too? The bottom line is this: Spirit Airlines’ prices are the lowest you’ll find anywhere. As long as you can deal with all the different discomforts, just relax, keep calm and get to your destination in one piece.