Barry Biffle, Spirit’s chief marketing officer, spoke at the Association of Travel Marketing Executives conference today in Miami. I wasn’t there, but it sort of felt like I was reading Henry Harteveldt’s real-time Twitter updates from the event.
Henry, if you don’t follow him, is a veteran airline and travel industry analyst working for Hudson Crossing and often shares the best quotes from these types of events. And his selection today from Barry Biffle didn’t disappoint. Here’s a rundown of a few insightful remarks from earlier:
Spirit’s business model caters to the leisure and O&D (origin & destination, point-to-point travel) segments, and his remarks here reflect that strategy. It’s sort of shocking for an airline to come out and say they’re not for business travelers, but it works for Spirit.
I grouped the three above together, but I could be taking them out of context. Passengers not wanting to be pissed off probably refers to the amount of ancillary fees and their cost. Spirit does show their lengthy menu of fees on their website, but I bet it is a challenge for them to deal with unaware customers who’ve booked through some travel agents.
Spirit definitely offers a low-ball base service price and I can see a lot of truth in these two remarks. While they don’t have another airline trip to compare it to, I wonder how Spirit’s first time fliers rate the experience?
Separately, Spirit’s CEO Ben Baldanza was speaking at another event today and made a rather honest remark concerning Spirit’s fees:
One of my goals this year is to step out of my comfort zone and fly on both Spirit and Allegiant, just for the experience of it (well… and to blog about it). Allegiant will likely be first as they fly into my home airport. Stay tuned!