An Early Christmas Gift – Higher Fees from Spirit and Other Airlines

If the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge was running an airline, this would be right up his alley: Raising baggage fees for Christmas. Spirit Airlines is doing it, but it’s not alone.

Oh, dear. What has Spirit done now?

Why Spirit is Raising Fees

Spirit is raising its standard checked-bag fees by $2 during the Christmas holiday period, for all flights beginning Dec. 18 through Jan. 5. As the airline notes on its website,

“[During the holidays] more people than ever will be flying with Spirit to visit their loved ones. To make sure we have room for everyone’s bags, we’re encouraging customers to pack lighter.” —Spirit Airlines

Here’s a question: Are passengers being encouraged to pack lighter, because – even with the extra two bucks added in – the carry-on fee is still higher than the checked-bag fee? Whatever. Spirit makes no apologies for its lack of frills and sushi menu of fees and while it has its detractors it has plenty of fans, too.

What Other Airlines are Doing

Ryanair: For years now, European discounter Ryanair has had different prices depending on the season; in fact, the airline raises baggage fees during three separate ‘high seasons’ including Christmas time. Watch baggage fees jump from £5 to £10 (about $8 to $16) but others fees rise, as well.

Allegiant: If you haven’t flown Allegiant in a while, you may think you’re paying a holiday premium but bag fees were raised for all flights for travel beginning in mid-August.

Important note: Bag fees are not static. They go up (and once-in-a-blue-moon, down) with little or no notice. Always check with your airline for the latest. And remember, for the moment anyway, you can still get a free checked-bag at JetBlue and Southwest.

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Published: September 23, 2014