Airline passengers “carry-on” over new fees

With summer quickly approaching, many people are beginning to plan their annual summer getaways. Despite the downturn in the economy, people are still willing to spend excessive amounts of money on their vacations. For those who normally fly on Spirit Airlines, that cost of traveling will now be even more.

The airline just announced a new and somewhat controversial fee for carry-on bags. Starting Aug. 1, each carry-on bag will cost $45 at the gate or $30 if paid for in advance.  Spirit Airlines is the first carrier to charge passengers for their carry-on bags.

Passengers will be charged for storing their luggage in the overhead bins. However, they will not be charged for personal items that can fit under their seat. Some people think that this new fee will be helpful in reducing the number of carry-on bags travelers bring with them. There has been a huge increase in carry-on bags since most airlines started charging for checked luggage. That increase has created several problems due to passengers rushing to get space for their belongings, including more injuries to passengers and flight attendants.

The benefits of this new program do not outweigh the negative aspects that could potentially follow. Although the fee may reduce the amount of carry-on bags people choose to take with them, this new policy will also probably reduce the number of people who fly with Spirit Airlines. Because of the economic downturn, people do not have a lot of extra money lying around. They are already spending enough on their trip as it is for their airline tickets as well as their hotel, food, entertainment and so on. This new fee will anger customers who normally fly with the airline and may cause them to choose to fly with someone else.

Loyal Spirit customer John Red was outraged that he will soon be charged for carry-on luggage. “Once they start charging, we won’t be flying Spirit,” said Red. “We always fly Spirit, but this will be the last one if they do it.”

Even with the opposition to the new charge, it is not likely that the fee will go away anytime soon. Other airlines are also going to be watching the reaction to this policy by Spirit before deciding to implement it themselves.

Overall, this new fee will be detrimental to the travel industry, especially if other airlines follow in the footsteps of Spirit. Passengers feel like they are being taken advantage of by the airlines that once provided them with excellent service.

“I can remember when you used to be able to go onboard, fly somewhere, they give you a real nice meal, and they give you a drink, and they made you feel like you were welcome, “said Red.

All of these new charges diminish that feeling of being welcome, and it will be interesting to see how they will affect the entire travel industry as a whole. It is not likely to be a positive outcome.

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