Now, taking a page from the campaign of Wikipedia, Google and other popular Internet sites regarding proposed regulations of the web, Spirit has plastered an advisory on its home page about new government regulations that apply to airlines and it is urging passengers to make their voices heard in Washington.
Beginning this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation says airlines must include federal taxes when quoting the price of an airline ticket. Spirit's website alert was half of a two pronged effort to enrage airline passengers about the rule. It also send an email to its customers. But if Spirit thinks air travelers feel about their service providers the way that users of the Internet feel about Wikipedia and Google, maybe it's not as smart as I thought.
|Photo courtesy Spirit Airlines|
Impulse travel is an increasingly popular activity a global phenomenon conceived and incubated by airlines that made travelers believe they could fly somewhere for pocket change. (See the music video by three Irish ladies for a hilarious example.) Its a deal with the devil though - a bait and switch that has travelers holding their noises while buying their tickets and boarding their planes.
Ryanair, and others, Spirit advertises fares so low, low, low, the only way it can make money is by tacking fees, fees, fees to the price, price, price. the new law doesn't change that, it only adds the federal taxes and puts them right up front so would-be travelers can see them right away.
Rest assured, seat selection, ticket confirmation, checked bags and all those other add-ons will still hike up the ticket price. So my advice to Spirit is, Find a business model that eliminates that frustrating practice before you ask air travelers to carry your water because until you do, you and your airline buddies are in this fight on your own.