Florida-based Spirit Airlines, the carrier best known for "$9 airfares" and steep fees, has just raised its online booking fee to nearly double the previous price, from $8.99 to $16.99 each-way.
Spirit Online Booking Fee Zooms to $34 Round-trip
From now on, anyone who books a round-trip flight on a computer, which is the bulk of Spirit's customers, will pay the airline almost $34 simply for making the reservation.
Although Spirit's website refers to this as one of "our optional charges," the only way to avoid it is by traveling to your airport during business hours to book at a Spirit reservations counter, which isn't practical for most.
Yet Another New Fee from Spirit this January
Plus, if you do book with an airport agent, there's another fee: starting Jan. 24, the airline imposes a $5 fee any time an agent prints out a boarding pass.
Spirit's online booking fee is not unique, but the only other U.S. airline that has it is low cost carrier Allegiant ($17 round-trip).
Spirit's Carryon Bag Fee
Spirit is alone among U.S. airlines in charging a fee for a carryon bag (from $20 to $40), but despite all the fees, the no-frills carrier has a devoted following. It remains to be seen if upping the online booking fee will have any effect on its fan base.