Media feeding frenzy over Spirit's possible booking fee...but they're not the first

George Hobica, March 04, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    Wow, what a lot of attention Spirit has gotten thanks to an article in the Wall St. Journal reporting that the fee-happy carrier is considering charging yet another fee, perhaps $10, for booking a fare other than at the airport. But wait! Spirit gives consumers a $10 discount when booking online (versus booking, say, on Kayak). So if they retain the discount, isn't this a wash? And according to this, Spirit imposed a "Web convenience fee" of $10 but quickly changed their mind last year.

    Also, for ages Allegiant Airlines has been charging a "convenience fee" (whose convenience actually?) for those booking by phone ($10 per passenger per segment) or even online ($13.50 per passenger). And Europe's EasyJet has had this type of charge for years (see below). So Spirit isn't first out of the gate on this.

    At least Spirit doesn't charge (yet) for checking in at the airport with a live agent, or for using a credit card, as some low cost airlines in Europe do (EasyJet charges 2.5% or £3.50 if you use a card and a £1.95 booking fee for other transactions, and they don't accept cash or cheques). Not yet, anyway.

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