Spirit Airlines CEO defends $45 carry-on fee

Posted April 21, 2010 at 6:34 a.m.

Associated Press | The president of Spirit Airlines says there’s been no significant fallout his new charge for carry-on bags. Ben Baldanza defends his business model in a nationally broadcast interview while acknowledging it didn’t sit well in some quarters. He joked that he’d never consider charging for bathroom use.

Appearing with Baldanza on NBC’s “Today” show, Sen. Charles Schumer
said Spirit set a bad precedent by charging up to $45 for carry-on bags
and said he hopes competitors don’t follow suit. The New York Democrat
said there might be legislation if the trend continues.

Baldanza said carry-on fees “can cause some outrage,” but said Spirit
simultaneously lowered its air fare and its passengers aren’t paying
appreciably more than before.



  1. James April 21, 2010 at 10:23 a.m.

    Ben Baldanza – Please, you must think everyone around you are a bunch of idiots. You can’t defend stupidity. Ben, you said that you lowered airfair to offset the cost of the carry on fee. What a bad business model. If someone doesn’t have any carry on, you lose revenue.
    I bet you are the “tough guy” type of boss. Do what I say or else. If I was on the board I would suggest they terminate you immediately.

  2. Kevin April 21, 2010 at 10:42 a.m.

    Great Job Ben….At least we will not be fighting with the people carrying 3-4 “carry on’s”……I hope all the flights that Chuck Schumer takes have all the overhead bins full before he gets on the plane so he can hold his carry on on his lap or get charged to place it in the baggage compartment.

  3. Robert April 21, 2010 at 11:18 a.m.

    Fine – defend all you want – it’s your company – just don’t expect me you fly your carrier —-

  4. Rich in Lynchburg April 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Charging for a carry on is a smart thing for the airlines to do. One of my pet peeves in airline travel is to see people board with big overstuffed bags and then try to get these humungous things into the overhead.

  5. Mike April 21, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    I can’t wait to fly Spirit. It will be wonderful not having to put up with the “people” that carry their life’s belongings on the plane and slow down the boarding process!!

  6. Donald Flynn April 22, 2010 at 8:46 a.m.

    Mr. Baldanza: I have a suggestion. Because your fees are based on cost and primarily fuel costs, I suggest you base your ticket cost on total weight. That is passenger weight plus baggage weight. Thus I suggest you set ticket prices at some estimated high total weight, and make corrections later, generally by reimbursing the credit card. This idea seems fair to everone in that each pays according to what they are shipping, just like freight. Please contact me if you would like to discuss this further. Meanwhile I commend you for your idea. It has always aggrivate me to see people abuse the free over head compartments.
    Don Flynn

  7. Jeff Zatell April 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I just got back from Cancun and will NEVER use Spirit Airlines again. Having to pay $50 at both ends of the flight for our bags is trully a ripoff, once would have been bad enough. Listening to someone try and sell me one of your Master Cards was as bad as having the 2 crying children behind me for a 2 and a half hour flight. Then there is the matter of not even being able to get some water without paying through the nose for it. Then ther was the noise the plain made while still on the ground it sounded like someone was sawing the plain in half. So there you have it, Spirit has lost my business forever.