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Will other carriers follow Spirit Airlines and start charging for carry-on bags

Dear Editors,

I’ve been reading about the new carry-on bag fee that Spirit Airlines will start charging their customers. At first, I wasn’t really concerned because I don’t fly them, but then I started reading about other airlines doing the same thing. What do you think?

Evelyn


Hi Evelyn,

I’ve spent the past week conducting media interviews on the new Spirit Airlines carry-on bag fee and was asked whether or not other airlines will follow in every single interview. My response to the question is perhaps a bit unsatisfactory: We’ll have to wait and see.

For the time being, the other airlines are going to sit back and watch the reaction to this new fee. For the past couple of years, airlines have made it pretty clear that they’re charting their way to an a la carte pricing model, but the carry-on bag fee to be imposed by Spirit Airlines really takes the cake.

Major airlines risk alienating a lot of high paying customers if they start charging for carry-on luggage, and they know this. The biggest difference between Spirit and major carriers is that Spirit relies on the leisure traveler looking for ultra low fares, and the other airlines rely more heavily on the big spending business traveler. No one is going to want to be the first major carrier to start charging for carry-on luggage, leaving travelers with no option but to pay for a bag.

The advice I’ve been telling travelers is simple: Do the math. If a low fare is what you’re after, you may still get that with Spirit even after you add in that baggage fee. But know what you’re getting – a no frills flying experience. If you don’t believe in the policy, don’t fly them. Your dollars will talk.

Happy Travels,

Jennifer

Editors’ Note: We’re here to help our fellow travelers, so if you have a travel question of your own, just ask! Each week, we’ll publish a response to our very favorite question from one of our readers. Need travel help now? Peruse Travelocity’s frequently asked questions.

Jennifer

My name: Jennifer Gaines, but my friends call me Gaines, Jenni-Dallas or just plain Jenn.

(Find me on Twitter @jenngaines)

Travel ambitions: It's my mission to visit each of the New 7 Wonders and to step foot on every continent before my next milestone birthday.

Greatest travel lesson learned: Find the local hangouts to experience the real, true culture of a place. During a trip to Europe, my friends and I spent several days with a French family in the small town of Vichy. We had a private party in their family-run creperie, feasting on cheese-stuffed crepes and sampling wine that we picked up in the Bordeaux region a few days earlier. Their English wasn’t much better than my French, which is limited to a few well-known phrases from Moulin Rouge and the question: Parlez-vous anglais? (I'm proud to say that I can spout this question off in several different languages, and luckily most Europeans do indeed speak English!) After a few bottles of wine, the language barrier was hardly noticeable (slurring actually sounds the same in French!), and we managed to swap stories about life in other places. What a slice of local flavor!

My most beloved place in the whole world is: My grandparents place in Texas. It’s a 10-acre oasis in between two sprawling cities: Dallas and Fort Worth. A creek runs through their enormous backyard, where Granddad built a deck over the water. The entire place is shrouded with all types of trees (mainly pecan), blocking the Texas sun in the summer. Dusk is the best time to sit on the deck, drink a glass of ice tea and watch baby raccoons from the spring litter surround their back porch as Gram feeds them bread (no lie!). There will be dozens of raccoons eating on any given night. In the fall, my family gathers in the courtyard in front of their house for an annual “weenie roast.” Granddad lights the bonfire, and we roast dogs and s'mores. Yes, y’all, we’re from Texas!

Favorite way to get around: Well, I’m not much of a driver. I get lost easily and my tires have never come across a curb they didn’t want to get to know a little better. But, I do enjoy cruising around and listening to music. That said, I much rather explore a place by foot (with my iPod in tow) for a more intimate encounter.

View that took my breath away: Coming from Texas (where the view is wide but there’s not much to see), scenes from my new home of San Francisco never fail to amaze me. The city is a pedestrian’s dream, but don’t forget to turn around and look behind you as you meander through its neighborhoods. You won’t realize it, but you’ll be at the tip-top of a hill and the ocean will suddenly seem to be at eye level. Take a drive through the Presidio and over the Golden Gate Bridge where even more stunning views await!

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