By FITSNews || After shelling out several Benjamins to fly bags to and fro Detroit last month, we’re obviously big fans of any airline that lets “bags fly free.” Of course as far as we know, there’s only one airline that lets bags fly free – Southwest – and they don’t operate in South Carolina.
Well … they don’t operate in South Carolina yet. On Tuesday, Southwest announced that it would start providing service to Charleston and Greenville-Spartanbug beginning in 2011, which is obviously great news for those two (three) cities.
South Carolina lawmakers have been considering an incentives package to lure low-fare airlines to the Palmetto state, but according to a company statement, Southwest’s “service will not be dependent on pending legislation to provide air service subsidies.”
Good. Then S.C. lawmakers should cross that $15 million off of their $21.1 billion list of stuff government is spending money on this year.
Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening – which has some wondering if there’s a secret deal in place regarding the taxpayer subsidies (with Southwest will still be eligible to claim assuming the legislation passes).
Bottom line? Our state has a pathetic track record when it comes to spending tax dollars on low fare airlines (anybody remember AirSouth?), and even if it didn’t this is still philosophically wrong.
Props to S.C. Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler for opposing this incentives bill, and count on FITS to bring you the roll call of State Senators who think it’s a good idea to waste $15 million of your money on a company that’s already committed to coming to South Carolina.