Yesterday, we wrote about how the CEO of Spirit Airlines thinks he’s doing consumers a favor by charging for carry-on bags. Now, Big Ben Baldanza is saying that he wants to start charging passengers for the right to talk to a real human being at the airport.
The discount carrier, like most other airlines, already charges customers a fee to book tickets over the phone, but Baldanza says his company is hoping to launch kiosks that will provide all the services an agent at the airport terminal currently provides. If that happens, you know what that means — You’re going to have to pay if you want to deal with a Spirit staffer.
Here it is, in Ben’s own words:
When talking to a human being becomes an option, rather than a necessity, then we’re willing to charge for it — as we do with the call center — but we’re not at that position in the airports today… It’s not that we don’t think it’s not a good idea at some point.
While Spirit’s fee-loving ways continue to draw comparisons to cheapy airline Ryanair, Baldanza poo-poos that airline’s much-maligned desire to charge customers for the use of on-board lavatories.
“We just don’t think of bathrooms as being an option thing,” he said. “When you have to go, you have to go.”
But apparently carrying a change of clothes in a small bag is an option?