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Spirit AirlinesWe thought it couldn’t get any worse. We were wrong.

Spirit Airlines, the only U.S. carrier that charges fees for carry-on luggage, has managed to dump even more baggage fees on fliers. Spirit passengers who pay for their carry-on bags within 24 hours of departure will be charged an additional $5 for doing so online or $10 for doing it by phone. This change is effective for travelers booking on or after March 24.

Spirit’s original carry-on bag fees are now, according to the airline, an “Early Bird Discount.” Spirit customers can catch the disappointing, dried-up worm by paying $30 per carry-on bag ($20 for members of Spirit’s $9 Fare Club) when purchased at least 24 hours in advance of departure. Spirit’s backhanded interpretation of “discount” troubles me. Like a petulant child who “picks up” his clothes by picking them up and then dropping them on the floor again, Spirit is twisting words in the face of its eye-rolling, grudging customers.

And the fees get steeper. The last-minute Larry who shows up at the airport without pre-purchasing a carry-on bag will be charged $45 at the airport gate and $40 at the airport kiosk. (These particular fees aren’t new, but I think they’re noteworthy).

With its newest carry-on baggage charges, Spirit seems to be slapping the concept of customer service square in the face. But the airline’s bread and butter has always been its extremely cheap fares, with flights as low as $9 each way (and sometimes even cheaper) for members of its $9 Fare Club — and Spirit’s never been one to worry about maintaining a squeaky-clean image. We’ve reported on Spirit’s devilish antics in the past, from scuffles with stranded passengers to shocking and offensive ads. Really, nothing Spirit does should surprise us anymore.

In the airline’s defense, its fees are cheaper for checked bags than for carry-ons. (Take a look at the full list of what Spirit charges in Airline Baggage Fees. ) This should, at least, free up some overhead space on the plane.

Will you still fly with Spirit?

— written by Caroline Costello

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9 Responses to “Spirit Airlines Adds Even More Fees”

  1. John says:

    I would only fly Spirit if it were the only option for a route or significantly lower. I cannot believe they get away with charging fees for your bags, whether you check them or carry them on. It ought to be one or the other, with at leas t one option to bring some clothes on your trip without paying extra. Almost every other airline, if you bring one carry-on, it’s free and if you check one bag, there is a relatively small fee. They need to decide which they prefer, that their passengers check their luggage or carry it on, and then make that free and charge for the other.

  2. Julie says:

    I will not fly Spirit, unless I absolutely had no other choice. I have read that their quality of service of awful. I don’t like Spirit’s cynical game of luring customers in with extremely low airfares, then charging exorbitant baggage fees (and probably other fees) to compensate itself for its too-good-to-be true airfares.

  3. DaveS says:

    I would only fly with them if I have nothing to take along and/or their prices were significantly lower than anything else even with the charges. Not flying with them is an easy solution for people who think their business model is unacceptable.

  4. Judy Miller says:

    I would so rather the airlines would just add $50 more to the cost of my ticket and stop all this insanity of extra fees. I will not fly on any airline that continues to do this. Southwest is my airline of choice now because of this. They are only cutting their own throats. I refuse to pay extra for a seat, using the bathroom or any other fees they come up with. In my business if I did this I would be out of business in no time and it is nothing but repulsive. To keep business, you reward customers for shopping with you not punish them!

  5. Mary Lou says:

    I’m a travel agent and would not /will not be bothered to sell Spirit Airlines. If a person is that un-travel savy then they need a good agent!
    We tell people every day what the baggage charges are. If they add that to the cost of the fare, then the internet prices are not true!

  6. Tom says:

    Wow! More bag fees. Forget that airlines. Southwest lets you for free. Love Southwest. Not perfect, but tolerant of bags, lets you change flights without penalty (save if there’s price change, and if you change early price is likely same). No, I don’t work for SW. In general, find a better deals than bullying airlines give you.

  7. StephB says:

    Too bad it’s our closest airport for our usually favorite destinations. We flew in Feb–unless they’ve changed the rule once more, we were able to carry on what we could fit under the seat @ no charge. We shared one suitcase, but struggled to keep in under the 40 lb maximum (which has probably since been lowered!!). I like Southwest–sad, though, that good customer service is giving you water to drink at no charge.

  8. Carole says:

    Take the train..take a bus…hitchhike ..EEE GADS!!

  9. Deno Skra says:

    This was the first and last time I will ever fly Spirit Airlines.
    First they charged me $90 to make an reservation via phone. There was a statement in the intro a fee may be added..$90 for a 300 flight.
    Then they charge me for check bags, and carry on bags (which I did want and payed for). So I called (India) and they said they did not make a mistake. So I requested my check bag id number…guss what they did not have one. Sooooo. there must of been a mistake, of course no refund for their mistake but I will get travel credits. ON A CARRIER I WILL NEVER FLY ON AGAIN>>>>>>

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