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Spirit Airlines says 'Ryanair Has Been An Inspiration To Us'

May 7, 2010 at 4:30 PM | by | ()

Apparently the Ryanair approach to airline branding, where "hating your customers" translates into "attractively no-frills," actually works. Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza had already gone on the record boasting about how bookings were up 50% since the airline announced its reviled new carry on fee.

Then Spirit announced that they were installing non-reclining seats, and took the extra step of intellectually insulting their customers by calling the new arrangement "pre-reclined." Now Baldanza has given another speech, and this time he not only bragged about Spirit's 50% bump but also about the negative media attention that they recieved. All publicity really is good publicity:

Rather than taking a defensive stance, Spirit decided to capitalise on the media attention. "We made a decision internally to try push the media as much as we could on the story," Baldanza says, reasoning, "If one more mistress says 'I slept with Tiger Woods' how much worse is his reputation?"... Bandana acknowledges that Spirit is often compared to LCC Ryanair. "Ryanair has been an inspiration to us in some ways," he says, but notes that Spirit does not go out of its way to antagonise customers, and that it won't ever charge for the use of toilets as proposed by Ryanair.

We were surprised to hear that Spirit wasn't going out of its way to antagonize customers, since that's certainly the impression we got with that "pre-reclined" thing. Maybe they're just really good at it, and they can't help themselves. But the denial is probably smart insofar as Ryanair has recently been slammed as outright anti-family for their summer baggage fees. And yet they continue to make money.

Listen folks. Everyone complains when airlines brazenly and proudly announce that they're cutting services for the customer's own good. But if consumers keep flocking to the worst offenders, the only thing left between commercial aviation and ever-more-miserable travel will be Congress. And they're a bunch of screaming children who regular pass disasterous travel policies. So we're not sure that's a good idea.

[Photo: NicolasJz / Wiki Commons]

Related Stories:
· Controversy over bags fees sparks bookings boost for Spirit [FlightGlobal]
· Spirit Airlines [Jaunted]
· Airline News [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

Good For Spirit Airlines!!!!!

Look back at the prices in air travel 20 years ago. It's cheaper now than it was 20 years ago. I think airlines should charge by the pound. Fedex and UPS charge by the pound, and you don't see them losing money. It cost more for one jet to take of one time, then it does to fuel your car for two years!! Go to Burger King and get a Whopper with Cheese.. you pay 55 cents more for that piece of cheese... Fat Americans don't complain about that surcharge!!!!! Raise the ticket prices and let "self entitled" American public stay at home or take the train. The best quote from any Airline CEO was from Ryanair CEO... "I'm sorry we lost your luggage, but you paid $19 Euro for your ticket... so GO AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!"

Taking the p

There's a difference between being charged for extras like the cheese on the burger. To be expected to pay to visit the bathroom is perhaps taking these charges too far. As for charging by the pound some airlines already offer a second seat for bigger passengers - and you only have to pay if the economy class is full

It's Nice

That you think airlines should treat their customers like crap and raise prices to punish them for complaining about poor service and stupid fees, and then insult them by calling them "self-entitled" for having the audacity to complain about bad service.