Spirit’s $10 Web Convenience Fee

I’ve been quite supportive of Spirit’s fee-driven low fares.  If they want to keep fares very low and charge passengers for everything else, go for it.  But I’m going to draw the line here:  the airline is now tacking on a $10 “web convenience fee” for booking a roundtrip ticket online.  Of course, there are additional fees if you purchase on the phone.  So you may be wondering, if Spirit advertises a $59 each-way fare, but it’s going to cost you $64 each way, why can it be advertised as $59?  The answer?  Um, because those are the rules.  It’s nuts, and it’s not fair to consumers.

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  1. Outer Space Guy

    Allegiant does the same sort of thing, I believe. You can pay to book on their website or via phone, or you can schlep to the airport, wait in line, and not pay any surcharges.

    Funny: I always thought that you should make it as easy as possible for people to give you money…

  2. Seriously, “not fare to customers?” Thats the best you can do?

  3. They forget that people have brains and some of them actually don’t stand for crap like that. That’s the kind of business practices that drives ME away for a while. When a company starts to act unfair, they’re kinda risking the trust people have in them. And then, it won’t matter what prices you advertise or how much money you pump in marketing. If it’s impossible to buy a ticket unless you tack on that minimum 10$, then the fare should be advertised as +10$. If the whole industry did it, we could call the whole thing loony. But if only one company does it, then THEY ARE the loony ones.
    Blows my mind. glad I never flew them. We all vote with our dollars everyday, we should not put up with crap like that (with our voting dollars). Reward companies that actually try to do the right thing for us humans (sardines?). Otherwise, others will follow. You know what, if there are rules that preclude them from raising fares due to higher gaz prices, then get rid of that rule.

    Just charge me for gas and list it along with all the other fees, I’m intelligent, I can understand, I don’t want everyone to go out of business, I know it’s not good for competivity and for me in the long run. When gaz prices double, I understand, I have a brain, you can list that in the checkout bin and I’ll go, yeah, that gaz price sucks but hey, we’re all in the same boat. And maybe I’d select a route that uses a more fuel efficient planes, wouldn’t that be great? We could choose to take the gaz guzzler or the pinto. Talk about consumer choice! Now, THAT would be the “free economy” to tackle this problem. Give customers the choice of how much services they want and how much gaz they’re willing to pay/burn for that journey.

  4. BTW, I know we already kinda know which types of planes fly which routes so we can already choose planes to some extent. While some other airliners only have one type of plane so that makes it moot. And I know that airlines hedge their fuel purchases with futures contracts so it would be hard to track the actual cost.

    I also understand that this would be a nightmare to administer. I’m not saying they should list the ACTUAL hedged price on the ticket. Just that they should list how much they want to charge US (the customer) and let them adjust that number. That way, we can see it and agree or disagree with that number before we hit the SUBMIT button ;-) Kinda like we do when we drive by the pump, we can choose not to go on that long weekend trip when gaz is too high. And we’d know that the price is high due to gaz, not because of some weird +10$ web booking fee, +20$ for being right handed and +15$ because we’re wearing a blue shirt. It won’t help this industry to confuse the hell out of all of us.

    We need it simple. We need to pick up the paper, see and add saying “flight to NY for 99$” and go “hey honey, wanna go to NY, it’s only 99$”, “you’re sure?”, “yeah, you can trust these guys”, “wow, yeah, it’s true, I saw that gaz prices came down when I drove past the gaz station this morning”. Ahhh, wouldn’t that be great?

  5. I would be afraid to fly an airline with such prices… Makes me wonder where they cut corners and usually are the areas that the consumer can’t see, such as…er… maintenance? Think it over and if aircraft maintenance is so expensive, i bet this is one the do whenever they can…

  6. I couldn’t agree more that this is unfair to consumers. Spirit is fee crazy and it has to stop. They are not a “discount” airline any longer as after all was said and done, my ticket cost as much as it would on a major airline.

    I booked a trip to Fort Myers from Chicago and thought Spirit had a relatively good fare. After I booked and paid for the reservation, they take you to another site and ask you if you are taking any bags. Yes you say – $15 for the first bag each way. For two people this was an additional $60. They also do not let you back out of your airline purchase as this is charged separately.

    The next page is a seat assignment page, you guessed it – another fee. I skipped this step thinking that I may be able to reserve seats when I check-in online 24 hours before the flight. Nope – you better pay up or seats will be randomly chosen and you may be seated apart. Your seat is actually not known until your print the boarding pass and it is permanent and can not be changed. It is somewhat humorous that it fills in all question marks like you are trying to win a secret prize.

    Long story short, my $410 far rose to over $510 after all of the fees and none of them were clearly outlined prior to you purchasing their low-cost airfare. I am unimpressed to say the least and will not fly them again. Seems sneaky at best.

  7. In my view, the cosumer should be advised about the total charges in the begining and not later.This practice of adding additional charges later is unfair.

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