November 16, 2015

I’m Back!

By Paul Bieber

Yes, the Docs have taken good care of me; the chemotherapy is going well, and my sarcasm quotient has been raised by the extra reading time I have. Here is a good one about how to price a product.

Spirit Airlines is a low-cost airline. This also translates to low-service, according to people I know who have flown on Spirit. But Spirit sure is smart when it comes to pricing their tickets for the upcoming heavy travel season. Read on for your daily dose of “How do they get away with this?”

Basic ticket price—whatever that is, based on where you are going;

First piece of luggage—if you pay when you make the initial reservation: $30;

First piece of luggage—if you pay before you check in at the airport: $35;

First piece of luggage—if you pay at the electronic ticket check in station: $40;

First piece of luggage—if you pay and check in with a real person: $50;

And the back-breaker:

If you fly during the holiday season—add $2 to your fare for a holiday surcharge.

So, you decide not to check your bag, but take it as a carry on.  Well, the heck with you, it’s $35 for a carry on when you make your reservation, $45 at check in and $60 if your bag doesn’t fit and has to be checked at the airplane gate! Someone told me that this airline charges for your air mask if the plane depressurizes! That’s just a joke, but do you want your customers joking about you? 

And then there is Southwest, which doesn’t have any screwball things like these charges for the first or second bag.  Southwest is profitable and their folks tell jokes, smile, and go out of their way to help. Southwest has a market value of about $30 billion. Spirit’s market value is $2.4 billion.

None of us are this size, or cater to hundreds of thousands of customers, but the parable is the same. Take care of your customers, fairly and with high quality service, and you will be rewarded in the long-run.