Will Spirit Airlines' Move to Drop Junk Fees Boost Customer Loyalty?

Will Spirit Airlines' Move to Drop Junk Fees Boost Customer Loyalty?
By Stephan Mann
Published July 03, 2024 5:00 AM EST

In an effort to win back customers, budget airline Spirit Airlines is shaking things up with reduced fees. The carrier, known for its a la carte pricing structure, recently eliminated change and cancellation fees for domestic flights. They also upped the standard checked baggage weight allowance to 50 pounds, aligning with industry norms.

Spirit's Chief Commercial Officer Matt Klein emphasized the airline's commitment to customer satisfaction, stating, "What we've seen over time is that less people are actually flying on Spirit. So we believe the changes we're making are about attracting new customers." Klein also mentioned that eliminating these fees was a response to customer demands for lower fares.

Spirit's international flight traffic declined in the first quarter, and the airline's financial struggles have been deepened by increased competition from larger carriers. For the first quarter, Spirit reported a net loss of $142.6 million, up from a loss of $103.9 million in the same period last year. Operating revenue also dipped by approximately 6% to $1.3 billion, with stock prices falling from over $16 at the start of the year to $3.64.

Despite the financial setbacks, experts believe low-fare airlines like Spirit must adapt to retain customers. "Right now, Spirit and Frontier are fighting to stay in business," said Henry Harteveldt, an airline industry analyst. "They're reacting to the changes that larger airlines have made."

These changes at Spirit come amid broader industry trends and regulatory pressures to enhance transparency and reduce so-called "junk fees" for consumers.

About the author
Stephan Mann

A dedicated travel content author at FlyOfinder since 2017. Stephan Mann brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to his writing. His engaging storytelling not only captivates but also guides and informs. Stephan's writing helps readers confidently plan their travels, ensuring every journey is filled with excitement and memorable experiences.

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