Spirit Airlines Carry-On Fee: Matt Lauer: Will 'Go Over Like A Fart In Church,' CEO Defends Charge (VIDEO)

06/21/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • AP/Huffington Post

Calling his airline's new $45 carry-on baggage fee "a unique approach" that would ultimately lower fares for customers, Spirit Airlines CEO appeared on the Today Show this morning.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also appeared on the segment and argued that the fee would lead to other airlines imposing similar fees.

Host Matt Lauer joked that the fee would go over "like a fart in church," but Spirit Airlines' CEO held fast. "We don't see who loses," said Ben Baldanza, the CEO of Spirit Airlines, who also added that his companies sales have been up significantly since the fee was announced.

Here's the AP's report on the segment.

WASHINGTON -- The president of Spirit Airlines says there's been no significant fallout from his new charge for carry-on bags.

Ben Baldanza defends his business model in a nationally broadcast interview while acknowledging it didn't sit well in some quarters. He joked that he'd never consider charging
for bathroom use.

Appearing with Baldanza on NBC's "Today" show, Sen. Charles Schumer said Spirit set a bad precedent by charging up to $45 for carry-on bags and said he hopes competitors don't follow suit. The New York Democrat said there might be legislation if the trend continues.

Baldanza said carry-on fees "can cause some outrage," but said Spirit simultaneously lowered its air fare and its passengers aren't paying appreciably more than before.

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