In a very bold move by Spirit Airlines, the companies top execs have decided effective June 1, 2016 to begin charging for small portable electronic devices (PEDs) aboard all their flights i.e. (cell phones, iPods, laptops, and other small media devices). Elena Mitchell, a Spokeswoman for Spirit Airlines stated, “Since 95% of the flying population has at least one portable electronic device, we will automatically charge each customer the $35 PED fee at the time the ticket is purchased.” When asked by a reporter at the press conference, “What if passengers do not own a PED?,” Ms. Mitchell replied “passengers can subject themselves to a volunteer body search prior to boarding the flight, otherwise, the $35 PED fee will apply.” She further went on to state, “If the fee is waived and a flight attendant discovers a passenger is using a device, the passenger will be subject to the $35 PED fee plus a penalty of $65.”
Ms. Mitchell went on to address issues concerning active duty armed services personnel. “The $35 fee will apply to ALL passengers. While we honor and respect the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made for this country, we cannot treat them any different than anyone else.” Senior Aviation Reporter for Fox News, Michael Blastic blasted Ms. Mitchell during the press conference, suggesting that the next thing Spirit AirCorp will do is charge for clothes on the flight. Ms. Mitchell responded that the airline is looking into all areas to increase profits. “With the oil prices on the rise, we really need to stay vigilant and seek out any way we can help offset costs while still providing the passenger with the best service possible.”
Soon after the press conference a Gallup poll surveyed approximately 3,000 random regular airline passengers. Surprisingly 72% of those polled were in favor of Spirit Airlines decisions regarding charging for PEDs. One of those surveyed stated: “I think it’s a great idea. I can’t stand people on them phones anyway, no one even wants to have a good ole’ conversation these days.” With the overwhelming positive response from the flying public, other airlines have begun to draft up plans to incorporate charging for PEDs as well.