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My Bags and Me

Ladies and gentlemen, the Captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belt Sign; please make sure your pocket books are in their upright and open positions.

Earlier this week Spirit Airlines put a price on placing bags in overhead bins; now, depending on whether travelers ‘pre-reserve’ their place in advance or enroll in the ‘Ultra-Low Fare Club,’ their ticket prices fly an extra $20 to $45 – not exactly peanuts.

Each passenger can still store one personal item under a seat for free, such as a purse, briefcase, backpack or laptop computer. Airline officials suggest their overhead storage solution provides a “bring less; pay less” policy which ultimately benefits customers. Is it Hindenburg hot-air or a grounded rationale?

The procedure for boarding creates a carry-on craze every flight. Starting with the nerve-racking race to be first on the plane to place your luggage, right through takeoff as the last man standing plays a game of hide-and-seek, desperately searching for any space to stash their stuff. Post-plane landing, patrons are then treated to an extra five minutes as the wild goose chase to bring a bag back down, stalls the stampede off the plane.

Hypothetically, fewer bags on the plane put people on the ground faster; that is, if baggage handlers do their part. More importantly, if Spirit’s newfound spare change nets the average flyer a cheaper choice in flight, its sales might actually soar.

Rash reactions will run their course as an already injured industry and airline takes on additional turbulence, but once the program passes through its takeoff jitters, Spirit Airlines will be wise to check with the consumer control tower to see if they’re clear to continue their current flight path or require a reroute to a new destination.

We request that all electronic devices be turned off until we fly through till Monday. We will notify you when it is safe to use such devices.

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