I’m writing this some 30,000 miles up in the air, somewhere between my hometown of San Diego and the playground that is Las Vegas. It’s a work trip though; I’ll be watching the GOP debate tonight and attending the Western Republican Leadership Conference tomorrow. Isn’t technology grand?
Some trips I have tentatively planned months in advance. I stick the dates in my Google calendar, and as they approach, I see if I can make them happen. Then there are the trips that happen with two seconds of notice, brought on by a wild hair and an incredible opportunity or deal.
This particular event has been on my calendar for a bit, but I never had much intention of going. But then ... I got an email advertising fantastic airfares to Las Vegas. I checked it out, and my dates applied!
I got the childcare squared away (big giant shout-out to my family and friends!), and then I checked the fine print on my $51 (taxes included) Spirit Airline ticket. Apparently, that does not include usage of the overhead bins, a privilege for which Spirit charges $20-$35 per bag, each way.
Say what? We’re all pretty used to checked bag fees by now, a happenstance that got this moderately frequent traveler to invest in one of those roller-suitcases. But overhead bin fees?
As the saying goes, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Spirit is able to offer ridiculously low rates (sometimes just $9!) because they make up for it with their fees. Spirit's chief executive Ben Baldanza says:
We believe it is important to let customers decide what is of value to them. Imagine if you went to a restaurant and all the meals came with dessert. That's great if you like dessert but, if you don't, you would prefer the option to pay less for the meal and not take the dessert.
The capitalist in me can appreciate that. Spirit is a business, and they should be able to set the prices for their services. I’m an individual who has a myriad of options when it comes to choosing an airline. In this particular case, I chose to go with the cheapest option available, because that’s the option that presently suits my needs budget.
The cheapskate in me is happy this is only an overnight trip, because I managed to fit everything, laptop from which I’m writing this included, into one bag that fits under the seat in front of me.
Thanks, Spirit Airlines, for not making me buy dessert with my air travel entree. The sweet stuff is nice to have, but it isn’t necessary, and sometimes it’s cost-prohibitive.
See you all in Las Vegas for the debate.
The GOP Presidential Debate can be viewed on CNN at 8 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, October 18.
Image via jetalone/Flickr