akjetBlue
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:59 am

Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:21 am

ROMULUS -- Put away the cash on a Spirit Airlines flight. It isn't any good.

It's not that the low-fare carrier is giving away booze and food. They just insist fliers pay with a credit or debit card.

Spirit, Detroit Metropolitan Airport's second largest carrier, switched from cash to plastic a week ago, using hand-held, wireless credit card scanners for onboard transactions.

It's easier for flight attendants, convenient for fliers and allows the airline to track every purchase made, Spirit President and Chief Operating Officer B. Ben Baldanza said in a recent interview.

"We now have real-time data on what sells and doesn't sell aboard our planes," he said. "We can be smarter on our inventory control and stock planes with what passengers really want."

Spirit's move is another blow to the greenback as America edges toward a cashless society that economists have long predicted. Consumers now pull out the plastic to pay for everything from a Big Mac to a taxi fare.

After flying into Detroit from New York City Thursday, passengers gave the new policy mixed reviews.

"I was surprised when the flight attendant made the announcement," said Rick Sablesak of Long Island, N.Y., who was flying with his teenage son to weekend hockey camp in Hazel Park. "It's kind of sick to think you can't buy something with cash."

Paula Mallind of Manhattan, flying with her two small babies to visit her parents in St. Clair Shores, liked the ease of swiping her card without worrying about change.

"I think it's a smart idea," she said. "I'd much rather use plastic to pay for the items."

Spirit is using new wireless technology developed by Commerciant LP, a Houston-based company that specializes in wireless payment systems and mobile business process service industry.

The crew can't transmit the sales data and credit card numbers while in the air, but once the plane lands the information is downloaded to Commerciant computers. The company forwards the data to a bank and the information is posted on a special company Web site that Spirit can access.

"Other airlines are looking at wireless systems, but we believe Spirit is the first to actually use one," said Eric Gensheimer, vice president of sales for Commerciant LP.

Baldanza said Spirit hasn't forgotten about passengers who don't have a credit card. The airline is working with a company to develop heavy paper cards with a magnetic strip on the back that can be passed through a credit card reader. Passengers would buy the cards at a Spirit ticket counter or an airport kiosk to use on flights.

"Once these cards are developed, we'll put a card with a couple of dollars on it in an unaccompanied minor pack," Baldanza said. "It's not likely a 10- or 12-year-old will have a credit card, but they still could purchase a soft drink or snack."

Baldanza said with its flexibility, the airline could be a little more creative about onboard amenities, such as in-flight entertainment. He also envisions eventually offering immediate upgrades.

Does that mean if a traveler happens to be placed in a seat between two burly football linemen in coach that the customer could be instantly upgraded to a bigger seat with the swipe of a credit card?

"Yes," Baldanza said with a laugh.

[Edited 2005-04-27 21:22:48]
Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:29 am

Well the LCC's are investing in technology that will move them forward all the while the so called legacy's cut and cut and cut.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
jetblueatjfk
Posts: 1556
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:42 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:30 am

Sounds like a good idea, I fly the LGA-DTW-LGA route alot and it is helpful to speed up things because it is 1 hr and 20 mins and it is short when they want to get out drinks and the snack packs for buyers, so it will be an easier flight for F/A's and easier for passengers, instead of wasting time to get out cash.

 airplane  jetBlueAtJFK  airplane 

Can't wait until I get to fly on the A319's.They are finally on the LGA-DTW-LGA run!!
 
srbmod
Posts: 15446
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:32 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:08 am

AirTran started that last year, but using the old fashioned imprinters. Now what Spirit's doing is a heck of a lot smarter. And the voucher idea is pretty smart too.
 
DLKAPA
Posts: 7962
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:14 am

Next we will see an ordering system right in the seat you are sitting in. At the beginning of the flight, you swipe your card with what you want, and as the f/a comes down the aisle, it's already been paid for, and he/she already knows what you want.

....Seriously I'd love to see that Big grin
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
DeltaMIA
Posts: 1622
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:53 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:16 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 1):
Well the LCC's are investing in technology that will move them forward all the while the so called legacy's cut and cut and cut.

What? DL has had these for the last 3 years. Song has used them since their inception and continue to do so.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:12 am

Quoting DeltaMIA (Reply 5):
What? DL has had these for the last 3 years. Song has used them since their inception and continue to do so

Maybe it was over shadowed by Songs IFE! Oh wait that was not available when they first started flying now was it.......
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
DeltaMIA
Posts: 1622
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:53 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:24 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 6):
Maybe it was over shadowed by Songs IFE! Oh wait that was not available when they first started flying now was it.......

No it wasn't, but that has nothing to do with using your credit card to purchase food on board.
While NK is moving into the 22nd century you can still use cash onboard DL and Song flights along with your credit card.
It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now.
 
Alitalia744
Posts: 3777
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 8:22 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:27 am

Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 6):
Maybe it was over shadowed by Songs IFE! Oh wait that was not available when they first started flying now was it.......

Cuz Spirit's IFE is so highly regarded eh?

Hi, I see a glass house...want a stone?
Some see lines, others see between the lines.
 
UAalltheway
Posts: 1358
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2005 8:31 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 6:29 am

That's really interesting, thanks for the link.

Personally I think it's a great idea, as long as they have those prepaid cards (issued by the airline) before too long. It will help the airline keep inventory, stock items, with ordering, etc. It's a great idea!.. i don't know why someone didn't think of it sooner.  Smile
 
LRGT
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 12:29 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 7:43 am

Quoting DLKAPA (Reply 4):
Next we will see an ordering system right in the seat you are sitting in. At the beginning of the flight, you swipe your card with what you want, and as the f/a comes down the aisle, it's already been paid for, and he/she already knows what you want.

....Seriously I'd love to see that Big grin

i'm sure we will see that soon enough!
Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
 
TomFoolery
Posts: 423
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:10 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:51 pm

I was always under the impression that the writing on the front, upper left hand corner of US currency reads:

"THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER
FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE"

Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but isnt that to mean that a Federal Reserve Note must be accepted as a means of settling a debt of trade? Buying a beer, cocktail, etc?

Tom
Paper makes an airplane fly
 
JAFA
Posts: 740
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 1:31 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:22 am

What a load of B.S.!!! THe real scoop is this: This is so low paid flight attendants don't steal the money. And before anyone jumps all over me, this is a problem at all airlines and businesses that accept cash. I fail to see how accepting ONLY plastic is faster than cash. If they were looking after the interest of cutomers then they would accept both cash and credit. I don't blame Spirit one bit for doing this. After AirTran started the credit only policy, liquor revenue jumped over 200%. Hmmm....
 
akjetBlue
Posts: 777
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:59 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Fri Apr 29, 2005 7:18 am

I didn't know FL stopped taking cash too

Quoting JAFA (Reply 12):
After AirTran started the credit only policy, liquor revenue jumped over 200%.
Save a horse! Ride a Cowboy!
 
exFATboy
Posts: 1887
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 11:15 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:07 pm

Quoting TomFoolery (Reply 11):
Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but isnt that to mean that a Federal Reserve Note must be accepted as a means of settling a debt of trade? Buying a beer, cocktail, etc?

As a general rule, yes - if someone complains loudly enough I wouldn't be surprised to see the government intervene here.

My understanding has always been that companies cannot refuse to accept currency, although they can refuse to accept large-denomination notes if it would pose an exceptional security risk. This is how businesses with highly exposed staff (like 24-hour gas stations where one cashier is in the little glass booth at 3 AM) can legally refuse to accept bills larger than $20s, as having large amounts of money in the till to make change with would make the cashier a more tempting robbery target. Since aircraft are extremely secure places (it's not like someone can rob a FA and run out the door!), I don't see how airlines could qualify for this exemption.

Unless there has been a change in the law recently - I've noticed that FedEx offices in Manhattan have "no cash accepted" signs on the door, and I've always wondered how they got away with that. I've always just presumed that no one has ever bothered to challenge them on it. Anyone on here from FedEx who can shed any light on this?
 
wjcandee
Posts: 5126
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Fri Apr 29, 2005 1:41 pm

Quoting JAFA (Reply 12):
After AirTran started the credit only policy, liquor revenue jumped over 200%

My recollection is that actual liquor consumption, however, did not actually increase, tending to support the poster's point. It's very very hard to control the cash on a flight, and we have all seen how hard the f/a's often have to work dealing with change. I also believe that making the process simpler for the f/as may indeed lead to those later beverage services being conducted with more reliability.
 
jjbiv
Posts: 1203
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:58 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:00 am

From http://www.treas.gov/education/faq/currency/legal-tender.shtml:

Question I thought that United States currency was legal tender for all debts. Some businesses or governmental agencies say that they will only accept checks, money orders or credit cards as payment, and others will only accept currency notes in denominations of $20 or smaller. Isn't this illegal?

Answer The pertinent portion of law that applies to your question is the Coinage Act of 1965, specifically Section 102. This is now found in section 392 of Title 31 of the United States Code. The law says that: "All coins and currencies of the United States, regardless of when coined or issued, shall be legal-tender for all debts, public and private, public charges, taxes, duties and dues."

This statute means that all United States money as identified above are a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal statute mandating that a private business, a person or an organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services. Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether or not to accept cash unless there is a State law which says otherwise. For example, a bus line may prohibit payment of fares in pennies or dollar bills. In addition, movie theaters, convenience stores and gas stations may refuse to accept large denomination currency (usually notes above $20) as a matter of policy.
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:22 am

Quoting TomFoolery (Reply 11):

Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but isnt that to mean that a Federal Reserve Note must be accepted as a means of settling a debt of trade? Buying a beer, cocktail, etc?

See http://www.snopes.com/business/money/pennies.asp:

Quote:
Title 31 (Money and Finance), Subtitle IV (Money), Chapter 51 (Coins and Currency), Subchapter I (Monetary System), Section 5103 (Legal Tender) of the United States Code states:

United States coins and currency (including Federal reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues. Foreign gold or silver coins are not legal tender for debts.

What this statute means, in the words of the United States Treasury, is that "[A]ll United States money . . . is a valid and legal offer of payment for debts when tendered to a creditor. There is, however, no Federal law mandating that a person or organization must accept currency or coins as for payment for goods and/or services."

That's it. All this means is that the Federal Reserve System must honor U.S. currency and coins, not necessarily anyone else. U.S. currency and coins can be used for making payments, but a debtor does not have to pay in legal tender, nor does a creditor have to accept legal tender.

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
PVD757
Posts: 3021
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2003 8:23 pm

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:12 am

In any transaction there is an exchange, or simply put, two sides. The loop-hole is that they can simply refuse to provide the product or service (in this case a nip bottle of Jack) in axchange for cash. The airline can just refuse to accept the terms of the transaction as cash for booz, not neceassrily refuse the legality of the tender.
 
qwerty
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2001 7:31 am

RE: Spirit Airlines - First Airline To...

Sat Apr 30, 2005 1:20 pm

Quoting TomFoolery (Reply 11):
"THIS NOTE IS LEGAL TENDER
FOR ALL DEBTS, PUBLIC AND PRIVATE"

If you owe someone, TRUE. They have to accept it to settle your debt. They cannot refuse tendered cash, within reasonable restriction (you can't make a house payment with $1s).

But that same someone is not required to open a transaction with you in the first place.

[Edited 2005-04-30 06:24:28]