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Frank II
04-06-2010, 07:40 AM
It was inevitable but Spirit Airlines will soon start charging for carry-on bags. I wonder who will be next?

http://www.spiritair.com/Policiesbags.aspx#CarryOnBag

flitcraft
04-06-2010, 09:43 AM
What's annoying is the size of acceptable "personal items"-- 16x14x12. That even rules out the Western Flyer and possibly the Checkpoint Flyer. I say possibly because I'm not sure what it's exact footprint is. Bummer...

Tzporah
04-06-2010, 05:08 PM
Anyone else notice that a carry on is more expensive than a checked bag?

Shiva
04-06-2010, 05:18 PM
I am shocked that they would now start charging for a carry on. What next? The air we breathe while in-flight? This is getting more than a bit ridiculous: it is as if airlines and consumers are in this major "war" of who can get away with what. If they had not started charging for checked bags (even one), folks would not be trying to get away with ridiculously oversized and heavy carry on bags that threaten to kill us all! There is now no reasoning with anyone it seems...

I wonder what they would do when folks travelled with large steamer trunks and hat boxes! Now, we can't even take a small carryon. I think they should start charging us for air; for the use of restrooms on flight; beverages; and we should also consider tipping flight attendants on our way out for excellent service. (hope folks get my sarcasm)

Frank II
04-06-2010, 07:47 PM
Last year, collectively, the airlines made $2 billion in revenue on bag fees.

Ryanair is considering charging to use the restroom.

Most airlines do charge for beverages.

Many charge if you want "preferred" seating such as emergency rows or aisle seats.

Some charge for pillows and blankets.

Almost all charge for food.

Carry-on fees were inevitable. I'm just worried what is next? Standing room only section?

Just
04-06-2010, 07:53 PM
Maybe this is why Buffet bought rail...

maverick
04-07-2010, 07:57 AM
i hope other airlines don't adopt this practice.

i much prefer the policy requiring roll aboards to be gate checked (and bags like the aeronaut (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0906), tri-star (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0940) and western flyer (http://www.tombihn.com/page/001/PROD/TBP/TB0950) being allowed onboard and stored in the overhead bins). i've seen a few airlines that operate regional jets adopt that policy.

consider this...

a 21" roll-aboard from company x has a capacity of approximately 2660 cubic inches. this roll-aboard weighs 11.4 lb.

the aeronaut from tom bihn has a capacity of 2700 cubic inches. it weighs only 2.71 lb.

spirit airways operates, among other jets, an airbus a319 that seats 144 passengers.

if every passenger packed the aforementioned roll-aboard, the luggage alone (without the contents) would weigh 1641.6 lb.

if instead, every passenger packed the aeronaut (with the same contents), the luggage would contribute only 390.24 lb.

choosing to pack in the roll-aboards increases the gross weight of the airplane by 1251.36 lb!

that extra weight results in added fuel costs, which ultimately are absorbed by the consumer in the form of increased ticket prices (or baggage fees) or a compromise in the service provided.

the problem isn't carry-on's. the problem is in the type of carry-on's.

if they want to charge a fee to displace the added fuel costs, a better criteria must be adopted to determine who should bear that burden. don't put the burden on those of us who choose lighter weight bags like the aeronaut. put it on those who are bringing more weight onboard.

addiopolis
04-07-2010, 08:48 AM
What's annoying is the size of acceptable "personal items"-- 16x14x12. That even rules out the Western Flyer and possibly the Checkpoint Flyer. I say possibly because I'm not sure what it's exact footprint is. Bummer...

Well, I can kind of see that. Granted I don't have a lot of experience, just a recent trip from the east coast to west coast. But, it seemed like a lot of people's personal items were as large as their carry-on. My impression is that the personal item is supposed to be something that carry's all of the things you want close access to before, during and after the flight. The carry-on being small luggage that fits in the cabin overhead bins or under a seat if necessary. The Co-Pilot seems to fit the personal item size criteria perfectly. It's as if Tom Bihn knew this was coming!

What disturbs, but doesn't surprise me, is that Spirit airlines will be charging for both checked baggage and/or a carry-on item of luggage. On one hand I shake my head wondering if they expect us to travel with no luggage. On the other hand it just seems as if they're raising their fares, but dividing it all out so that you can see exactly what you're paying for.

The sort of sad thing is that it looks like their checked bag fee will be cheaper than their carryon fee (which the aeronaut totally fits into at least if you decide to pay the higher fee). It looks as though first they tried to discourage so much bag checking, then changed their minds and realized they weren't ready for all of the carry-ons.

Ultimately I agree with Maverick, that folks who are carrying a small, lightweight bag, should not be charged the same as the folks carrying large, bulky, heavy bags. If everyone had a small, light-weight, space-economizing bag, there'd be a lot fewer issues with getting everything on the plane.

Hopefully other airlines won't pick this up, at least not to this degree. I won't be surprised if they do though.

gmanedit
04-07-2010, 09:55 AM
maverick, in terms of weight, does it make a difference to the plane whether the luggage is in the passenger compartment or the cargo hold?

As Tzporah pointed out, they are charging more for carry-on than checked. This is an incentive to check all bags—they want to reduce the time to load and unload the cabin. The time cost shifts to the passengers, who will have to wait in the terminal for their bags to show up.

Really annoying. If you show up with, say, a Brain Bag or even a Smart Alec, and they have a bag sizer, you may have to check it at the gate. $45!

This is a revenue raiser. It goes well beyond nickel-and-diming.

Shiva
04-07-2010, 10:55 AM
Maverick: yes, you make excellent points, but there are a few problems.
1. Many can not carry anything at all on their shoulders: age, illness, disability of various kinds. So folks do need to use roll aboards.
2. My frustration with us passengers has also been our lack of consideration. These past two months I did more travel than typical: I made six US domestic trips in feb/march during the snowstorms here. And in most of them, most passengers put their coats and laptop bags on the top bins although they were explicitly requested to put them under the seat in front of them. Many who board early (by paying extra) tended to hog the bin space with their luggage and other assorted items.

I actually asked my fellow passenger if they would mind taking off their winter coat so I could put my western flyer up there, and stow my smart alec in front of me. They actually refused; and the flight attendant said they could not do anything about it. Cos both my bags were not too full, I ended up placing both near my feet. It is this kind of lack of consideration and inability on the part of airlines to enforce "civility" (which should not have to be enforced in the first place) that causes a lot of problems too.

I know that in a few years time, I might not be able to carry things on my back and shoulders as I age; and while I agree that we all need to travel lighter, and with less crazy stuff, there has to be some reasonableness about all this....which is what I miss.

Thanks

maverick
04-07-2010, 11:11 AM
maverick, in terms of weight, does it make a difference to the plane whether the luggage is in the passenger compartment or the cargo hold?

As Tzporah pointed out, they are charging more for carry-on than checked. This is an incentive to check all bags—they want to reduce the time to load and unload the cabin. The time cost shifts to the passengers, who will have to wait in the terminal for their bags to show up.

Really annoying. If you show up with, say, a Brain Bag or even a Smart Alec, and they have a bag sizer, you may have to check it at the gate. $45!

This is a revenue raiser. It goes well beyond nickel-and-diming.

hi gmanedit,

i don't understand it.

i don't know whether the distribution of the weight is a factor. i don't think that's what's driving their policy here.

there is a cost of coordination on the ground for checked bags (getting them from the plane to the baggage carrousel, running the carrousel, managing lost baggage claims, etc.) that you don't have with carry-on's. i don't know how this compares with the cost of the time to get people onboard with more carry-on luggage.

maverick
04-07-2010, 11:20 AM
hi shiva,

indeed, there are certainly situations where one must use a roll aboard rather than something carried on the shoulder or in the hand. but even if those who can carry their load were to opt for bags like the aeronaut, that would certainly help the situation.

as far as lack of common courtesy, it is a sad reflection of how self centered we are as a society. let us hope that by making an effort at an individual level, that our example can influence others and over time reverse this tendency.

tom, darcy,

what do you think about producing a light weight luggage cart add-on for bags like the aeronaut? perhaps we can leverage materials that are strong and light weight, like carbon fiber, titanium and aluminum?

thanks!


Maverick: yes, you make excellent points, but there are a few problems.
1. Many can not carry anything at all on their shoulders: age, illness, disability of various kinds. So folks do need to use roll aboards.
2. My frustration with us passengers has also been our lack of consideration. These past two months I did more travel than typical: I made six US domestic trips in feb/march during the snowstorms here. And in most of them, most passengers put their coats and laptop bags on the top bins although they were explicitly requested to put them under the seat in front of them. Many who board early (by paying extra) tended to hog the bin space with their luggage and other assorted items.

I actually asked my fellow passenger if they would mind taking off their winter coat so I could put my western flyer up there, and stow my smart alec in front of me. They actually refused; and the flight attendant said they could not do anything about it. Cos both my bags were not too full, I ended up placing both near my feet. It is this kind of lack of consideration and inability on the part of airlines to enforce "civility" (which should not have to be enforced in the first place) that causes a lot of problems too.

I know that in a few years time, I might not be able to carry things on my back and shoulders as I age; and while I agree that we all need to travel lighter, and with less crazy stuff, there has to be some reasonableness about all this....which is what I miss.

Thanks

Just
04-07-2010, 03:15 PM
Pretty soon they are just going to charge per pound/kg of passenger+luggage...

Darcy
04-07-2010, 06:58 PM
I like JetBlue's response to Spirit. (http://onebagger.squarespace.com/blog/2010/4/6/jet-blue-skewers-spirit-scheme.html)

We're going to wait and see if other airlines adopt this policy or something similar - if that's the direction that things are moving, we'll adapt, and hopefully that will help you adapt. We appreciate all of the news/info/tips you all are posting!

ex machina
04-07-2010, 07:50 PM
I am all for carry-on size enforcement. I am also all for clearly stated carry-on policies. Give us hard numbers, please. I like the idea of sizing bins and I think it should be mandatory that all passengers place their carry-on in a sizing bin and that it be required to enter and exit fully without any squishing, stuffing, or prying. If someone didn't plan properly why should anyone else be inconvenienced? Poorly planned carry-ons shouldn't be allowed to pass the check point.

I purchased an Aeronaut (I got the compression straps by the way -yay! tnx TB!), in part to make my packing easy. My bag is the max size, how I arrange contents is my own device but I know with confidence that my luggage passes carry-on muster (barring the loading of lead bars. ;P) I make it a point to plan my travel, and hopefully plan it well. Why should I be stuck because someone wants to act like it's their private jet and we all should be grateful to be allowed access? The size is so much, over that it should be TSA enforced that the bag won't even be allowed to pass the security check. Let the inconsiderate or ill-prepared carry their own bag back to the ticket counter and check it. I bet that will only happen once and they will have gotten the message. Flights will be missed as a result, but the message will get out.

I am also for FAA mandated carry-on privileges. Passengers should have a lawful privilege to take a reasonable (measurements mandated by the aircraft type flown) carry-on during travel. I do like the idea of a personal item too, but that should also be mandated as to size. If your luggage doesn't cut it, buy new luggage or check it in. Flying is not a right. Like driving, it is a privilege.

As to rudeness, I have seen that in both passengers and in crew. People get testy: long waits, overcrowded bins, giant wheeled juggernauts being raised overhead by straining limbs, flailing about like some mindless rogue asteroid. I find the crew is usually nicest in the morning (but I have seen exceptions.) I suspect because they are well rested and fresh. They haven't been beat down yet.

I prefer to get to the airport early, and I like to be boarded early. Being the last to deplane doesn't bother me. No need to get to a luggage carousel. I generally have my connections planned out (with redundancies) so I can take my time but get where I am going in a timely manner.

I would like to see an airline club started called Sane Air that charters its own planes. To join, one must own proper carry-on luggage, pass a psychological, and take a course on travel etiquette. What a nice flight that would be! Their motto: 'Rude people suck. We don't.' :P

KarlJ
04-07-2010, 08:27 PM
I am all for carry-on size enforcement. I am also all for clearly stated carry-on policies. Give us hard numbers, please. I like the idea of sizing bins and I think it should be mandatory that all passengers place their carry-on in a sizing bin and that it be required to enter and exit fully without any squishing, stuffing, or prying. If someone didn't plan properly why should anyone else be inconvenienced? Poorly planned carry-ons shouldn't be allowed to pass the check point.

I think we already have what you describe. It seems as though you are in favor of some form of punitive action for the offenders.


The size is so much, over that it should be TSA enforced that the bag won't even be allowed to pass the security check. Let the inconsiderate or ill-prepared carry their own bag back to the ticket counter and check it. I bet that will only happen once and they will have gotten the message. Flights will be missed as a result, but the message will get out.

I must disagree here. First, it isn’t the TSA’s purpose to police the size of the bags. Nor is it their function to make any determination as to who is “inconsiderate” or “ill-prepared”. And c'mon... the idea that any airline would do something so imbecilic as to what I guess you’d call “teaching them a lesson” would amount to business suicide for that airline. Remember that passengers are also customers; they aren’t there to be punished or be taught a lesson.

ex machina
04-07-2010, 08:58 PM
I think we already have what you describe. It seems as though you are in favor of some form of punitive action for the offenders.
Punitive? I think it is only fair that people be liable for their own poor judgment and not have others suffer for their trouble. I look at it not as punitive, but more a provision of relief for the other passengers.



I must disagree here. First, it isn’t the TSA’s purpose to police the size of the bags. Nor is it their function to make any determination as to who is “inconsiderate” or “ill-prepared”. And c'mon... the idea that any airline would do something so imbecilic as to what I guess you’d call “teaching them a lesson” would amount to business suicide for that airline. Remember that passengers are also customers; they aren’t there to be punished or be taught a lesson.
KarlJ, this goes to my point. No airline enforces the rule effectively in large part because it would be counterproductive to their primary focus of profit. By relegating the TSA to do it as a mandatory federal travel policy takes the onus off the airlines and levels the playing field. There are many benefits to this, including the easement of boarding/deplaning means faster turn around, less aggravated passengers, an improved perception of air travel quality. Regarding teaching a lesson: isn't that what a cop does when issuing a red light ticket? Unpleasant consequences are a powerful aid in shaping approved behavior. Societies have used this fine point to hone many a civilization. Tax laws and breaks shape investments every year. Those investments shape the job market etc. And while it may not be part of TSA's mandate to regulate bag size today, there is no reason that it can't be expanded to include such. Heck, something as simple as a carry-on sized opening plate for the x-ray machine might be enough. If your bag can't fit through, reconfigure it or check it. Argue, and get detained is the weight behind the compliance. People pay taxes more because they fear the consequences of not, than they agree with the benefit of doing such.

KarlJ
04-08-2010, 10:44 AM
Punitive? I think it is only fair that people be liable for their own poor judgment and not have others suffer for their trouble. I look at it not as punitive, but more a provision of relief for the other passengers.

Wow… I’m just wondering if that also applies to unwed single mothers, and other welfare recipients. Or for that matter, to those whose “poor judgments” left them with no medical care, or an incomplete education. If so, I find the whole idea a little un-easing.

I guess we’ll stand in dissent on this one.

backpack
04-08-2010, 01:23 PM
With the creation of sites which bulk purchase airline tickets, we have all became annoying freight.

Freight that can be nickel and dimed out of their cheap fares by convenience fees for chow, sodas and luggage.

All the airlines sell passengers a cramped seat to get for point A to point B.

Most airlines are putting the nickel and diming out to the max, expecting people to take it.


Southwest and Jet Blue are different, they get my business.

I don't mind paying a little extra for some privileges, if I am given the choice in advance.


As far as courtesy is concerned, it doesn't exists on airplanes, one has to make sure to board early on, to be on the back of the plane where there is usually space for luggage.

Coats can usually be squashed to fit one's bag, I have done it many times.

Many people use of heavy rollaboard take away our light bags space, it is now less frequent with the luggage sizer.

maverick
04-08-2010, 01:51 PM
With the creation of sites which bulk purchase airline tickets, we have all became annoying freight.

Freight that can be nickel and dimed out of their cheap fares by convenience fees for chow, sodas and luggage.

All the airlines sell passengers a cramped seat to get for point A to point B.

Most airlines are putting the nickel and diming out to the max, expecting people to take it.


Southwest and Jet Blue are different, they get my business.

I don't mind paying a little extra for some privileges, if I am given the choice in advance.


As far as courtesy is concerned, it doesn't exists on airplanes, one has to make sure to board early on, to be on the back of the plane where there is usually space for luggage.

Coats can usually be squashed to fit one's bag, I have done it many times.

Many people use of heavy rollaboard take away our light bags space, it is now less frequent with the luggage sizer.

hi backpack,

i'm happy to say it's not all bad. you mentioned southwest and jet blue. i've also had a pleasant experience with british airways, virgin atlantic, virgin america, air france, and air india.

i flew air india most recently. while their ground service is far from perfect, their in-flight service is great. you do have people carrying oversized bags. when i was checking in at IAD for the flight to india, i saw the airline personnel checking people in ask someone to weigh their carry-on. they told them that it was too heavy, but didn't say to check it in or to shift the weight between bags or anything.

i helped a couple of people with getting their bags that were too heavy down from the overhead bin while inflight, including helping to close an overhead bin because it was so heavy!

i really liked that in addition to the hot meal after take off and the hot meal before landing, they served a cold mini-meal mid-flight. i didn't care for the cold meal and asked if they could provide something hot, and they asked if i'd like to have what was served for dinner at take off. i liked it and said i'd love that, and they heated it up and brought it out to me. that was very thoughtful of them.

another time, i went back to get a snack. they had wrapped cold sandwiches, shortbread cookies and spicy indian junk food (kind of like the small bags of nuts some airlines serve with drinks), and some drinks available throughout the flight. the flight attendant asked if i could help her with placing this box up into its slot. i was happy to help. after i helped her, i asked her when the next meal would be served so that i could decide if i should have a snack or just a drink. she said they would be getting the meal ready in another half an hour, but that she would be happy to heat it up for me now if i would like to have it then. i told her thank you and that i'd just wait for them to bring it around. but that was really thoughtful of her!

the seats were pretty comfortable for economy - i didn't feel like they were specially cramped.

i know the story is a bit different with the domestic carriers in the u.s. actually, my favorite choice for domestic travel has become virgin america, though their routes are still pretty limited. just as with other u.s. domestic carriers, you pay for your meal. but they make it easy to have food and drinks whenever you like with the ordering menu integrated into the entertainment system at your seat. they also offer a couple of vegetarian options which i appreciate :).

dbguinn
04-09-2010, 01:32 PM
It seems like there is a gradual merging of the cargo hold and the passenger compartment. We ourselves are becoming just another piece of luggage and not treated much better than the bags that are thrown in the cargo hold underneath.

backpack
04-09-2010, 01:50 PM
hi backpack,

i'm happy to say it's not all bad. you mentioned southwest and jet blue. i've also had a pleasant experience with british airways, virgin atlantic, virgin america, air france, and air india.

i flew air india most recently. while their ground service is far from perfect, their in-flight service is great. you do have people carrying oversized bags. when i was checking in at IAD for the flight to india, i saw the airline personnel checking people in ask someone to weigh their carry-on. they told them that it was too heavy, but didn't say to check it in or to shift the weight between bags or anything.

i helped a couple of people with getting their bags that were too heavy down from the overhead bin while inflight, including helping to close an overhead bin because it was so heavy!

i really liked that in addition to the hot meal after take off and the hot meal before landing, they served a cold mini-meal mid-flight. i didn't care for the cold meal and asked if they could provide something hot, and they asked if i'd like to have what was served for dinner at take off. i liked it and said i'd love that, and they heated it up and brought it out to me. that was very thoughtful of them.

another time, i went back to get a snack. they had wrapped cold sandwiches, shortbread cookies and spicy indian junk food (kind of like the small bags of nuts some airlines serve with drinks), and some drinks available throughout the flight. the flight attendant asked if i could help her with placing this box up into its slot. i was happy to help. after i helped her, i asked her when the next meal would be served so that i could decide if i should have a snack or just a drink. she said they would be getting the meal ready in another half an hour, but that she would be happy to heat it up for me now if i would like to have it then. i told her thank you and that i'd just wait for them to bring it around. but that was really thoughtful of her!

the seats were pretty comfortable for economy - i didn't feel like they were specially cramped.

i know the story is a bit different with the domestic carriers in the u.s. actually, my favorite choice for domestic travel has become virgin america, though their routes are still pretty limited. just as with other u.s. domestic carriers, you pay for your meal. but they make it easy to have food and drinks whenever you like with the ordering menu integrated into the entertainment system at your seat. they also offer a couple of vegetarian options which i appreciate :).


Maverick, you are a wellspring of great information, as usual.

I was indeed speaking of the U.S carriers. I didn't know that Virgin was flying in the U.S. Something to think about.

ex machina
04-11-2010, 06:13 PM
Quote:


Punitive? I think it is only fair that people be liable for their own poor judgment and not have others suffer for their trouble. I look at it not as punitive, but more a provision of relief for the other passengers.

Wow… I’m just wondering if that also applies to unwed single mothers, and other welfare recipients. Or for that matter, to those whose “poor judgments” left them with no medical care, or an incomplete education. If so, I find the whole idea a little un-easing.

I guess we’ll stand in dissent on this one.

I don't know if your in earnest KarlJ or being deliberately obtuse. The context of my comment was related specifically to carry-on baggage. How you could think a suggested policy regarding baggage choices should be applied toward social programs helping those dealt a bad hand in life is beyond me.

A policy of enforcement as to carry-on luggage size is needed. Once items are standardized and the playing field is equalized we can all enjoy a better flight. Senator Charles Schumer agrees (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ju0RHiWot7NKd-c8mlGncvX_PrOQD9F0RRE80) that Spirit Airlines has gone and crossed a line in charging fees for carry-on. Hopefully he will take it a step further and via an enhancement of TSA protocol enforce a proper policy that the airlines have failed in doing.

My position of equalization of carry-on would be more properly interpreted as one of leveling the field for the benefit of the many. We are allowed a finite amount of space for carry-on, and people should plan accordingly. If you have more, check it. No one is being denied the capacity to take luggage. What I suggest be regulated more forcefully is the size of carry-on actually allowed on board (not just stated in policy.) The most cost effective and impartial way is via the TSA structure already in place. It is simply the addition of sizers at the checkpoint. What could be simpler? What could be more equal? Medical items still get excepted, etc.

I oppose the current tacit elitism and support an egalitarian approach toward carry-on baggage that remains compassionate towards those in need. The short of it is I'd like a return to civility.

ex machina
04-11-2010, 06:26 PM
Southwest and Jet Blue are different, they get my business.
...
As far as courtesy is concerned, it doesn't exists on airplanes, one has to make sure to board early on, to be on the back of the plane where there is usually space for luggage.


Well said, backpack. I too generally fly JetBlue these days. They have treated me well in the past and I expect they will in the future. I also find that by booking a seat in the back, thus being among the first to board, I get to conveniently stow my baggage, and I have easy access to a rest room. Also, should I need the assistance of a flight attendant, they are usually either passing or otherwise nearby. The cost for my improvement of flight? I am often the last to deplane. That loss of time is more than made up for by my avoidance of the luggage carousel. ;) I am in a good mood and had a good flight by following this plan. I encourage the less savvy to book toward the front. :p

backpack
04-13-2010, 12:26 PM
Well said, backpack. I too generally fly JetBlue these days. They have treated me well in the past and I expect they will in the future. I also find that by booking a seat in the back, thus being among the first to board, I get to conveniently stow my baggage, and I have easy access to a rest room. Also, should I need the assistance of a flight attendant, they are usually either passing or otherwise nearby. The cost for my improvement of flight? I am often the last to deplane. That loss of time is more than made up for by my avoidance of the luggage carousel. ;) I am in a good mood and had a good flight by following this plan. I encourage the less savvy to book toward the front. :p

Ex machina: great minds think alike :)

We might meet one of those days at the back of a plane with our Tom Bihn bags in tow.
It is more than likely that I will also have my husband in tow. :)
He will be the one carrying the Brain Bags. :D