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Spirit Adds Carry-on Bag Fees of Up to $45

Spirit Airlines has added fees for carry-on bags, effective immediately for travel on or after August 1.

Here's the fee breakdown:

  • Personal item: Free
  • Carry-on bag, paid online; $9 fare club members: $20
  • Carry-on bag, paid online, on the phone, or at check-in; non-$9 fare club members: $30
  • Paid at the gate: $45

Items such as umbrellas, strollers, and car seats are also free.

Spirit is concurrently lowering its checked bag fees for $9 Fare Club members:

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  • First bag: Old fees $19 online/$25 airport; new fee: $15 domestic, $20 international, $45 checked at gate (domestic or international)
  • Second bag: Old fee: $25 online or airport; new fee: $15 domestic, $20 international
  • Third through fifth bag: Old fee: $100; new fee: $75 domestic, $80 international

For non-members, some checked bag fees have actually gone up:

  • First bag: Old fees $19 online/$25 airport; new fee: $25 domestic, $30 international, $45 checked at gate (domestic or international)
  • Second bag: Old fee: $25 online or airport; new fee: $30 domestic or international
  • Third through fifth bag: Old fee: $100; new fee: $85 domestic, $90 international

For an up to date listing of airline fees and charges, check out our Ultimate Guide to Airline Fees.

Bottom line: You will pay for bags on Spirit no matter what. This is obviously not a development many travelers will be happy to see, but hopefully the concept of carry-on fees stays relegated to the realm of the ultra-low-cost carrier.

My question now is, why on earth would anyone fly Spirit?

Update: Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows I have a pet peeve about airline press releases that go to extraordinary lengths to be as vague as possible about unpopular news. Well, Spirit should get some sort of award for the following bit of linguistic gymnastics:

"In order to continue reducing fares even further and offering customers the option of paying only for the services they want and use rather than subsidizing the choices of others, the low fare industry innovator is also progressing to the next phase of unbundling with the introduction of a charge to carry on a bag and be boarded first onto the airplane."

I'm almost impressed.

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