Sunday, April 18, 2010

5 Big Airlines: We Won't Try the Spirit Airline Stunt

Well, duh.

Five big airlines swear they won't follow the lead of little Spirit Airlines and charge passengers to use the overhead bins.

That's the word today from Sen. Chuck ("Don't Get Trapped Between Me and a TV Camera") Schumer, who announced to the TV cameras today that he had obtained assurances from Delta, American, United, US Airways and JetBlue that they would not charge for carry-on bags.

"He said he was hopeful other carriers would follow suit," the AP said and added, equally portentously, "Notably absent from the list was Continental Airlines ..." Uh, AP: Most notably absent from the list was Southwest Airlines, which does not charge even for checked bags.

Now, come on, media. Except for Southwest (which carries more passengers than any U.S. airline), the major airlines charge for checked bags, for food and other in-flight services. They bang you $100 in cancellation fees. But there was no way they were considering aping that stunt by Spirit, the low-fare leisure carrier that is generally regarded as having the worst customer service in the industry.

No one who knows anything about airlines thought the idea of charging for overhead bags was going to be copied widely. Regular travelers, including business travelers, would simply draw the line at that one. And Southwest and JetBlue, among others, would undoubtedly go to town advertising that they don't do it.

There are, to paraphrase that lawyer joke, certain things even an airline won't do.


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