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Warning: Nickel and Diming Your Customers Hurts You More Than You Think – Dumb Marketing Move

This week’s Dumb Marketing Move goes to Spirit Airlines.

I’m sure as soon as you read that this was about Spirit Airlines, you know exactly what I’m going to be talking about. They are now charging for carry on items! In a climate where everyone is hurting, we understand that prices need to be higher for services but customers were just getting used to the idea that they had to pay for their regular luggage. This has blindsided many people and even if they don’t fly with Spirit they are talking about it and not in a good way.

Spirit Airlines has forgotten that they are in a competitive environment and that they aren’t the only kids on the block. I’ve only flown Spirit once in my life, and that was when they just started charging for luggage. I was utterly shocked I had to pay $15 for luggage. It was an inconvenience and it should have been included in the ticket price. Their carry on fees are now $20 in advanced ranging all the way up to $45 at check in on way!

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but that’s a lot of money and a lot of hassle for a carry on, especially after spending at least $90 on a flight (at the bare minimum). I did receive an email from Spirit April 15th, which was at least a week after they announced this change. They are claiming that there will be lower fares, and lower checked bag fees. It’s hard as a customer to see how they will achieve these benefits.

Spirit has not thought this move through, other than the monetary gains. They are nickel and diming people and no one likes it. This new addition will cause a lot of stir while people are checking in, unhappy customers, and more regulations on an already strict system. In an economy like ours today, customers are not as loyal as past years and they will gladly change which airline they fly with for a cheaper flight.
On the Flip side, Southwest is banking in on their mistake. Read Next Week How SouthWest used their competition to enhance their image.

Lesson Learned: When raising prices, in any business, take into account how your customers will react. Also, get a plan together to soften the blow or include the price in a package deal rather than having everything paid separately like Spirit does with flight, checked baggage, and carry ons.


“Outthink the Competition Rather Than Outspend Them”

Author: Leslie Wolff, CEO of Smart Marketing Group, speaks from experience as an entrepreneur, sales and marketing executive plus advisor and coach. Les has “walked the walk and talked the talk.” The knowledge that he imparts with passion has been learned in the toughest of schools, “Real Life!”, in the trenches, on top of the mountain and everywhere in between.

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