Spirit Airlines began charging for carry on bags over the weekend, and if you read any articles about it, it would appear that Spirit Airlines ranks somewhere between Bin Laden and Kim Jong Il on the evil scale. However, all of those articles and complainers (and whining Congressmen) are simply wrong. Could Spirit do a better job of letting customers who are booking tickets with them know that there are carry on bag fees? Probably – though it’s pretty clear as you move through the booking path that it’s going to cost you. But they have hardly shied away from media reports about the new fee, and they post news about it on their homepage.
In reality, they are trying to get people to stop bringing bags on the plane with them (something European lowcost carriers have done for years), and encouraging them to check their luggage. Yes, it costs between $15 and $30 to check bags. Yes, that’s annoying if you’re flying Singapore Airlines. But you’re not. Spirit is more than upfront about what you’re getting from them (a cheap ticket, and nothing else). The OTR family just bought tickets to Florida over Christmas, a roundtrip ticket from New York to Ft Lauderdale was $160, tax included. That was less than half what everyone else is charging. Throw in the baggage fees, and it’s still much, much cheaper.
You are perfectly free to fly another airline (well, not “free” exactly, as they’ll also be charging you to check bags), but I’m over everyone whining about it.