Niagara Gazette

Columns

January 3, 2013

GLYNN: Airline serving Niagara area under sharp attack

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Some of Spirit’s passengers are concerned that the airline does a poor job of disclosing its fees. While that may be a valid criticism, Baldanza notes that nearly 30 percent of its traffic comes from a third party (e.g., a travel agent) that sometimes results in less transparency. “We see more instances where people have not been (made) fully aware of those fees,” the CEO said.

Surprisingly. Baldanza didn’t seem too upset over Elliott’s column except for the “anti-Southwest” reference. “That really bothered me,” he said, adding that Spirit’s policy is similar to Southwest’s initial strategy in the 1980s when much lower prices were offered to stimulate business. To show there’s no hard feelings, the CEO has invited Elliott to visit the company’s corporate headquarters in Miramar, Fla., for a closer look at how Spirit operates.

Baldanza, a native of Rome, N.Y., has visited the Falls over the years and is confident that Spirit will continue to profit from its service here. “In fact, we’re hoping to some day expand our flights out of that airport. We think it offers us a great opportunity for growth.”

If you’ve flown Spirit out of the local airport, it would be interesting to hear your take on the airline, its service, the fares and overall performance.

•••

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “If Congress prevents the nation from going over the fiscal cliff on New Year’s Eve, they might be accused of acting under the influence (intoxication) — David Frum, syndicated columnist and former adviser to President George Bush.

Contact Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

Contact Don Glynn at 282-2311, ext. 2246.

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