Spirit Baggage Fees Rise Again on Jan. 1 (But Just a Little)

Spirit Airlines, the discount carrier known for its overabundance of fees (including fees for soda, coffee and even water) will hike baggage fees in the New Year. But as hikes go, these are far from the worst we’ve seen.

Is Spirit about to break a new fee barrier?

Bag Fees Rise $1-$6

Spirit’s carry-on baggage fee – which varies wildly up to $100 depending on when you pay – will rise a buck on Jan. 1 to $26 if the fee is paid during the online booking process. If you wait to pay during online check-in for your flight, it’ll cost an extra $6. You’ll see similar price rises for a first checked-bag. By the way, Spirit’s fee for checking a bag is actually cheaper than the fee for a carry-on, but then Spirit has always done things a little differently. Most U.S. airlines don’t charge any fee at all for carry-ons and there are still two carriers (JetBlue and Southwest) that give you at least one checked-bag at no charge.

Most Unusual Spirit Fee is Unchanged

The good news is, Spirit has not raised its “Passenger Usage Charge”. What is that? It’s a fee – $8.99 to $16.99 one-way – for booking your flight on the airline’s website! And yes, the airline also charges for booking by phone.

Spirit’s nasty ad campaigns

Spirit + Bad Publicity = No Problem

Nobody can say this airline is thin-skinned when it comes to not-so-great publicity, whether it’s about fee hikes – or the airline’s latest tasteless ads. The bottom line is, the scrappy carrier is making money for investors without alienating its many fans, and presumably Spirit believes this latest, mild fee hike will be accepted by passengers.

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Published: December 26, 2013