Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spirit Airlines to institute pay toilets and seat belt surcharges on all flights

By Pablo Fanque,
All This Is That National Affairs Editor
Fact checking and research by Jack Brummet

As you may recall, All This Is That has recently been researching a story on airline surcharges and fees.  Pablo Fanque received a call (and tip) from a senior manager at Spirit Airlines Monday afternoon.  The manager, who had been a source for Fanque on aspects of the articles on airline fees, called to tell him that Spirit Airlines recently decided to impose additional fees and charges on its passengers.  

"As you know," the source told Fanque, "we have positioned ourselves as the 'ultra low-cost' airline (ULCC).  It wasn't much of a leap to go from charging for carry-on bags to charging for other, well, services."    The source disclosed that Spirit Airlines is about to impose a modest ($5.00)  fee for seat belt rentals on all flights. 

In addition, the airline will begin charging a fee for use of the toilets on their aircraft.  On all flights lasting longer than two hours, patients will be given a voucher card, good for one visit to the restrooms.  After that "complimentary" visit, all passengers will be required to use debit cards to unclock the toilets.  While the fee is also modest ($1.00 for five minutes), the manager did indicate they expect pushback from the public. "However, even our $45 carry-on baggage charge has met with far less resistance than we expected.  We ARE the cheapest airline in the country. . .and we intend to keep it that way."  Since receiving the call from our source, we have verified the story with two other highly placed executives, as well as a member of the Spirit Airlines Board of Directors.

Calls--and nine emails--placed to three other major airlines, asking for comment, were not returned. 


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