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Posts Tagged ‘Spirit Airlines’

Was Spirit Airlines ‘State of Hate’ Report Really a #PRWin?

Break-Spirit-Airlines-2Few things in this world are universal.

There are some exceptions: gravity makes things fall-down-and-go-boom, holding your breath past turning purple isn’t smart, and eating every once in a while is good for the body.

Also: flying on Spirit Airlines sucks out loud.

Sure, the initial flight charges are nice, but once you get nickel-dimed, you may as well be flying first class on a private jet. So, if you were the PR person for this airline of piss and vinegar evocation, what would you do?

Embrace the hate? They did that, and it worked.

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Spirit Airlines CEO Explains What You Get When You Fly on a Budget Airline

Spirit A319-3The average consumer wants to get things on the cheap, but doesn’t always know what exactly that means. On its face, spending less money is always preferable. But when you actually experience the budget option, it can be disappointing.

That’s exactly what Spirit Airlines is running up against. With the cost of air travel increasing, flyers are looking for a deal. Their eyes are drawn immediately to the low price tag. But then they take their flight and they’re looking for more.

A couple of weeks ago, a story ran in The Dallas Morning News that included a stat from the US Public Interest Group showing that Spirit has the “highest rate of consumer complaints among US airlines.”

Rather than get angry and defensive (at least not publicly), Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza decided that the problem could be a failure to communicate. After all, over the past five years, eight out of 100,000 customers have complained, leaving 99,992 people who didn’t. He decided to respond with an explanation.

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Spirit Airlines Profits from the Public’s Humanity

Sigh, another airline PR kerfuffle, this time involving the bare-bones Florida-based Spirit Airlines. The budget airline has decided to drop its toll-free 1-800 number and replace it with a number that will cost customers who make calls from a landline between 5 and 18 cents per minute.

To the public this move is cheap, opportunistic and completely forgettable because if you don’t have access to a cell phone somewhere—an uncle, a neighbor, even a complete stranger will lend you a phone—then you probably have bigger challenges to address than being fleeced by Spirit Airlines. (This weekend many grandmothers will be receiving iPads for Mother’s Day so they can follow their kids and grandchildren on Facebook; restricting minimal fees to landlines hardly seems exploitative unless you’re currently in jail, in which case you shouldn’t be traveling anyway.)

As PR professionals, businesspeople and capitalists, we understand that the airline industry is a tough venture. Customers want cheap prices, but the gate fees and fuel required to move those customers over state lines are very expensive. As businesses, airlines have to find some way to be profitable. So they cleverly have garnered their profits from the reliable shortcomings of human nature.

Back in the day Blockbuster raked in profits from late fees knowing that people consistently return movies past their return dates. That pronounced flaw in human nature also applies to travel, where passengers habitually make last minute plans and need to change their tickets or arrive with an extra carry-on bag. But Spirit Airlines, which has 71 different passenger fees, has taken this business strategy to another level.

So if you’re going to fly Spirit Airlines make sure you’re obsessively organized. And have a cell phone.

Is the Spirit Airlines $100 Carry-on Fee a Big PR Gamble?

The problem with being human is that we all like to believe that we’ll all be better in the future: We won’t be late for work this week; We’ll remember our uncle’s birthday next year; We’ll pay the cable bill on time next month. People like the feeling of being in control, particularly when it comes to their own daily lives.

Reality, however, is much different. The truth is that most people struggle with deadlines. We pay our bills late; We forget to move our parked car during restricted hours; We show up at the airport with more luggage than we had anticipated bringing. For Spirit Airlines customers, this last oversight can cost as much as $100 a pop.

That’s right–Spirit Airlines is now charging customers $100 if they show up with a carry-on bag that they haven’t paid for in advance. Even for organized flyers, the airline charges a $35 fee to book a carry-on bag in advance and $50 to do it at the airport counter. We can’t quite predict the future, but we’re fairly sure that quite a few customers will object to this new policy! Read more

Spirit Airlines Charging $100 for a Carry-On Bag

WTH Spirit Airlines?! $100 for a carry-on bag?

As the image at left illustrates, people have gone berserk with the carry-on luggage in an effort to avoid the the current fees for checking in luggage. Certainly, Spirit isn’t the only airline jacking up fees for “amenities.” But $100 for a bag, checked in or carried on, is exorbitant.

The increased fee takes effect on November 6; the airline is already charging $45 at the gate to bring a bag on board. The fee goes down to $50 if the passenger pays during check-in, even less, $30, if it’s paid during an online check-in.

CNBC quotes a Spirit statement: “We don’t want any of our customers to wait until they get to the boarding gate to pay for their bag. That delays the boarding process for everyone.” CNBC’s Mandy Drury adds, “You have been warned.”  Here’s a list of all their bag new fees.

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Phase 2: Everyone’s Trying to Cash In On Charlie Sheen

Phase one: Charlie Sheen comes out of nowhere with some of the most outlandish behavior ever. Phase two: People try to find a way to capitalize on Charlie Sheen’s outlandish behavior.

SiriusXM Radio announced today that they’re airing Tiger Blood Radio, a channel dedicated to the “breaking news, facts, fallout and career implications” of all things Charlie Sheen. The channel will air from March 5 at 6a.m. ET to March 6 at 6 a.m. ET. So far, the channel is planning to rerun interviews with adult star Kacey Jordan, among others. As Brian Stelter noted on Twitter: “it’s a 24-hour-long stunt. they probably hope charlie will call in.”

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