Spirit: The Final Frontier of Fees
It’s heeeeeere: Spirit Airlines new carryon bag fee. Yes, the fee-crazy airline has gone where no other carrier in the U.S. has dared yet go, and now makes you pay for privilege of using a carryon bag.
This began Sunday (Aug. 1) and you can tell the airline is super-excited about it: “View our new Baggage Policies!” says the website; we did, and here is what we learned.
Small Carryons Still Free (if they’re really tiny)
Spirit does allow you to bring a small carryon aboard – at no charge - but it must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. We’re talking tiny: it cannot be larger than 16 x 14 x 12, and personally, I’ve got hand bags that are bigger than that (and maybe you have a bigger laptop or briefcase or whatever). If so, that’s your free “carryon”.
Spirit Carryon Fees - More Expensive than Checked Bags
So what will a carryon aboard a Spirit flight cost you? Here are the awful details:
- $9 Fare Club members – $20 (note: Club dues are $40 a year)
- For reservations made via phone or online – $30
- If you are foolish enough to wait and pay the carryon bag fee at the airport – $45
And what does Spirit charge for checked bags? These are the carrier’s prices for domestic flights, as of August 1:
- First checked-bag for $9 Fare Club members – $15; everyone else pays $25
- Second checked-bag – same as above
Carryon Bag Fee Anger
Some are angry about the new carryon fee. In fact, outside of Spirit headquarters in Florida, we haven’t heard from anyone in favor of this.
Those opposed include the Association of Airline Passenger Rights which issued a statement protesting the fees while suggesting fliers boycott Spirit. Says the AAPR’s Brandon Macsata, “What’s to follow: should we be expecting to pay to use the restrooms while on board the aircraft, too?”
Will Spirit Ever Install Pay Toilets?
Let’s hear from Spirit now. A spokesperson says a boycott is ridiculous and suggests dropping their fees would be akin to “a fast food restaurant being forced to give away fries and a drink with each hamburger” (hey, I like that idea).
So what do you think? One of the folks over at ABCNews.com recently took a Spirit flight, and what he mainly noticed was the airline’s cheap fares and cramped seats – and tons of ads all over the plane.
Hey advertisers: Spirit sells ad space in their bathrooms, too, in case you’re interested in a captive audience. Just sayin’.