Pulse: Spirit-ed CEO Squeezes into Overhead Bin

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A Spirited Defense of Carry-On Fees: Spirit, the airline that’s infamous for inaugurating the concept of carry-on fees, is trying to calm the outrage following its intention to raise fees to a whopping $45 per item (scheduled to enter into effect on August 1). In a surreal example of damage control, Spirit’s CEO, Ben Baldanza, released this video in which (squeezed into an overhead compartment), he claims that passengers are fed up with crammed overhead bins and long lines to board planes. He also promises that the new carry-on fees will be offset by lower ticket prices and better service.

Change Comes at a Price: In yet another example of airlines looking for new sources of revenue, United Airlines announced that it will no longer allow passengers to change their ticket for free for another same-day flight. From now on, a confirmed flight change will cost $75 and an unconfirmed standby request will be $50.

Sometimes Money Just Ain’t Enough: Frequent fliers of Air Canada are in for a treat with the new “Money Can’t Buy” goodies offered to Aeroplan members. Rewards range from guitars autographed by your favorite homegrown rock star to exclusive access to events at Toronto’s Luminato festival and tickets to an Argos game, delivered with a football signed by Michael “Pinball” Clemmons. All proceeds from these redemptions will go to War Child Canada.

Thank God for the Cookies: Midwest Airlines, which declared bankruptcy last fall, has now officially been folded into Frontier Airlines (both are owned by Republic Airline Holdings). This fusion means that, by 2011, the Midwest name will be no more. Thankfully, one thing will remain unchanged: Midwest’s beloved in-flight chocolate chip cookies!

Look Who’s Twittering Now?: U.S. and Canadian carriers are increasingly taken with Twitter – not only as a marketing tool, but also as a means of placating angry customers who are succinct enough to text their complaint in under 140 characters. Recently, the website, Airfarewatchdog.com, graded six U.S. airlines on their Twitter proficiency. At the top of the class were JetBlue and United: both received A’s for responsiveness to customers and exclusive promotion of deals.

About the Author: Bobby Heard

Bobby Heard is the Director of Inbound Marketing for FlightNetwork.com.

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