New Spirit Airlines promo invites you to check out the “oil on our beaches”

The cheeky ad designers at Spirit Airlines are at it again – after their “Muff Diving”, “DD” and “MILF” promotions, their newest stunt invites you to check out the “oil on our beaches”.

In this case though, the oil does not show the BP spill, but scantily clad women covering themselves in “Best Protection SPF 50″ sun tan lotion.

The promotion is actually not bad
– and offers $50 off a variety of flights ($25 off each way), but as usual you’ll want to pay close attention to the fine print and other details of the promotion.

And of course, this promotion wouldn’t be a Spirit Airlines promotion if it didn’t create some major controversy – their PR department has had to issue a statement explaining that they are not mocking the oil spill, but pointing out that there are still plenty of beaches that are not impacted. Whether or not that was their actual intent, the promotion seems to be working, because it got our attention!

Spirit Airlines grounded by pilot strike – UPDATED

Spirit Airlines has found itself grounded this weekend, after contract negotiations with their pilots failed to result in an agreement.

The pilots have been negotiating for four years – and Spirit claims they have offered a 30% pay increase over the next five years, along with several other perks.

Sean Creed is the head of the Spirit Airlines pilot group within the union, and had the following to say:

“No one wanted this strike-certainly not this pilot group. We have sacrificed so much to see this company prosper. Now we are sacrificing our paychecks until we get a contract that reflects our contributions to this airline,”.

As of right now, the strike should end this evening, and all flights will resume as normal tomorrow.

UPDATE: The strike has been extended through Tuesday June 15 2010.

Passengers on canceled flights will be issued flight credits along with an additional $100 Spirit Airlines credit. More information on the strike can be found here.

It has been five years since the last strike at a major US carrier when mechanics and cleaners went on strike at Northwest Airlines. The last major pilot strike was back in 1998 – once again at Northwest Airlines. Of course, it could always be worse – British Airways just got out of their third batch of strikes in under a year.

Major airlines commit to keeping carry-on luggage fee free – will not follow Spirit Airlines

In a funny twist to the Spirit Airlines carry-on bag fee situation, Senator Charles Schumer has managed to get five major airlines to agree that they will not follow suit.

American, Delta, JetBlue, United and US Air have all confirmed that they will not go the route Spirit Airlines took, and that they will keep carry-on baggage free. The commitment comes as Senator Schumer works to talk Spirit Airlines out of their plan which will go into effect on August 1st.

In the past, many fee generating measures quickly spread to other airlines, so it was not completely unthinkable that the measure could become an industry standard.

In our own survey, 93.2% of Gadling readers said they think the carry-on bag fee is a bad idea.

While I agree that government getting involved in the private world of air travel is a dangerous precedent – I applaud their intervention in this case – the government regulates the skies and has the right to put measures in place to protect consumers.

Want to win an $800 JVC Everio camcorder?
Click here!



Gadling readers have spoken – Spirit Airlines carry-on bag fee is a bad idea

Several days ago, we asked you for your opinion on the Spirit Airlines carry-on bag fee. As a quick refresher – the airline is planning to charge up to $45 for each carry-on bag that does not fit under the seat in front of you. This is in addition to their checked bag fee.

The whole plan has triggered a lot of responses, from both sides. Some people are (justifiably) annoyed that airlines don’t pay much attention to oversized bags from passengers that take up too much space. Others (correctly) point out that when airlines started to charge for checked bags, passengers had no choice but to carry stuff on board.

Still, nothing makes a point better than some cold hard numbers in the form of a survey – a whopping 5,425 of you took the time to respond (thanks!). The results are pretty clear – 93.2% are against the fee and a mere 6.8% think it is smart.

Of course, 5,425 Gadling readers won’t be enough to convince Spirit Airlines that they making a stupid mistake, but if enough passengers do indeed decide to fly someone else, the message will eventually get through to them.

Senator duo working to ban Spirit Airlines carry-on bag fees

The clip of Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza reporting from an overhead luggage bin suddenly makes sense – his plan to introduce carry-on bag fees has reached two senators, who are outraged over the proposal. So outraged in fact, that they are drafting legislation that will prohibit airlines from charging for bringing bags on board.

Senators Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have created the Cardin-Landrieu Free of Fees for Carry-On Act. The bill covers the following:

  • Prohibits each air carrier operating in the United States from charging any fees for carry-on baggage that falls within the restrictions imposed by the air carrier with respect to the weight, size, or number of bags;
  • Requires each such air carrier to make detailed information about restrictions with respect to the weight, size, and number of carry-on baggage available to passengers before they arrive at the airport for a scheduled departure on the air carrier;
  • Requires each such air carrier to make available to the public and to the Secretary a list of all passenger fees and charges (other than airfare) that may be imposed by the air carrier.

Kudos to these senators for working on behalf of travelers. Of course, the bill is still in such an early stage that it is hard to determine how much support it will get.