Excerpts from a story in the RC Journal:
Spirit Airlines says it is gaining ground in the fight against flight delays with its controversial move to charge for carry-on bags.
Since airlines started charging for checked luggage, more flyers have brought carry-on bags on board. Spirit's new fee--the first in the industry--is aimed at discouraging passengers from stuffing the overhead bins because it often takes extra time to get bags settled and gate check those that won't fit onboard.
Spirit, based in Miramar, Fla., says it does not expect to profit from carry-on fees directly. Pinson said the low-fare airline is cutting ticket prices overall, in some cases by more than enough to offset the cost of a carry-on bag. But she said that by shaving 6 or 7 minutes off the time that it takes to load and unload a plane, Spirit hopes to be able to add more flights.
Spirit will be collecting data over the next few weeks to see how the plan is working out. No hard numbers were yet available.
The idea of carry-on charges has struck some as crossing the line. New York Sen. Charles Schumer extracted a promise from five of the nation's biggest airlines, including AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc., that they won't charge for carry-on bags.