I Shouldn’t Hate Spirit Airlines, but I Do

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It was the cheapest option with the best flight time from LA to Kansas City so my assistant booked me on Spirit Airlines.

Check in was OK. LAX is never good. The flight was on time. Despite their wry, easy-going, communication, my visceral reaction was a distaste of the company. Upon arriving, I swore that I’d never fly Spirit Airlines again.

Assess your own reaction to a purchase to learn about product development and marketing. Did you have a positive or negative experience with the company? Why? Is your assessment logical? What does your gut say?

Your opinion of a company is mostly dependent on two aspects of the customer journey:

(1) how you feel when you decide to buy, and

(2) how you feel at the end of the experience.

Note the word ‘feel’. The objective experience doesn’t matter. What matters is how you felt throughout the process. And how you felt is almost never your logical reaction to the thing – it’s emotional; which is why understanding behavioural psychology matters.

Some background: Budget airlines like Spirit Airlines in the USA and RyanAir in Europe were founded to offset price gouging in the airline industry. Here’s how it works:

Included in the cost of your flight with almost every airline are a host of extras like:

  • Check in with a human at the counter,
  • Bag drop,
  • A carry-on bag,
  • Peanuts / pretzels, and
  • A soda on the flight

In most cases you’re forced to pay a premium for all of these things. It’s bundled into the price of your ticket regardless of whether you use it or not.

It seems logical to assume that consumers would be happy to only pay for what they use.

Like, if you check in at the counter or bring a carry-on bag, you pay for it. But if you just have a backpack with you, check in online, and bring your own snacks, you aren’t charged extra.

Makes sense to me, and this is how Spirit Airlines works. I should love them.

The baseline ticket is cheaper than the alternatives. You pay for any extras our of pocket. In almost every case, the ticket is still cheaper.

‘Please Never Book Me on Spirit Airlines Again’

^^Was the subject of the email I sent to my assistant.

Why did I have such a negative, visceral, reaction to an experience that, by all logical assumptions, was positive?

The answer is Loss Aversion: Arguably the most important psychological principle I want you to be aware of when structuring your product offerings.

Loss Aversion (simply put) = People hate losing things way more than they enjoy gaining things.

When you buy a more expensive, yet bundled, airline ticket you pay once. The pain associated with the loss of spending money happens once.

With Spirit Airlines the pain of loss repeats itself. Even though the total amount of money lost is less, the experience is more painful because loss happens multiple times. As a result, it felt slimy – like I was being ripped off.

Step 3 of 9 in The Fitness Business Lifestyle Revolution Manual – one of the bonuses that gets sent when you subscribe to Fitness Marketing Monthly – is ‘No New Clients’. The intro to this section states the problem many fit pros, online and offline, encounter:

“It feels like you’re begging: begging for attention, begging for leads, begging for sales. Getting a prospect to say yes and hand over their payment information is a memory from a far-too-distant past. You have no system for attracting leads who are ready to buy. Competition undercutting your prices is destroying your business. Why does nobody care about you or value you?”

The alternative that ends the intro reads,

“Know exactly what people really want – and give it to them.”

–It seems simple and, in theory, it is. But this short statement truly does hold the answer we’re all looking for.

In my column that begins the November issue of FMM I quote advertising legend David Ogilvy,

“People don’t think what they feel, they don’t say what they think, and they don’t do what they say.”

–It is your job to know what your prospect feels, and understanding loss aversion is a good start.

If you want a deeper understanding of how prospects feel so that your marketing is more impactful, section 3 in the The Fitness Business Lifestyle Revolution Manual will give you a lot of clarity

This manual, valued at $199, isn’t for individual sale. It’s one of the two bonuses that gets mailed to your door immediately upon beginning your subscription to FMM.

Get it now, subscribe here:

–> www.fitnessmarketingmonthly.com

-Coach Jon

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