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Spirit Airlines and several other carriers have significantly hiked baggage fees for passengers over the last few months.
Spirit raises carry-on baggage charge to $100, but other airlines are flying under the radar with similar fee hikes.
As a frequent international flyer, I know firsthand the bite that baggage fees can take out of your wallet.
Spirit Airlines announced Monday it would charge passengers $100 at the boarding gate for carry-on baggage beginning November 6.
The fee is a significant jump from its previous rate of $45, and appears to be a blatant money grab.
While Spirit is one of the only carriers to charge for carry-on bags, it’s not the only airline guilty of raising baggage fees under many consumers’ radar. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 17 of the United States’ largest airlines raked in a total of $2.6 billion in baggage fees during the first three quarters of 2011, and that revenue will only continue to grow as carriers casually add more costs for passengers.
Know Your Airline's Baggage-Fee PolicyFiguring out the airlines' tricky and befuddling baggage-fee policies is key to any budget-minded packing strategy. Before you begin packing, take a peek at your airline's website and read its baggage policy. This post may contain affiliate links from our advertising partners, such as American Express. There have been some changes with Spirit since my post back in January so I wanted to give everyone the latest updates and try to clear up the most common questions I get.
Even with severe weather issues Spirit was very accommodating letting people change their flights and waiving the change fees and the price difference in flights. If they have a bunch of morning flights, then a bunch of evening flights they may close in the middle of the afternoon, that’s typical for any airline that has blocks of time with no flights going out. When I see $9 fare club prices, they are usually $10, $15 or $20 cheaper, each way, than the normal ticket price. I highly recommend a backpack or a duffel bag without wheels or a handle as your personal item bag. Please note, no airline in the United States can charge you for checking car or booster seats for children. From Spirit’s website: “You’re welcome to bring an FAA-approved child safety seat onboard as long as a separate seat has been purchased for the child.
Spirit is doing a new thing where they increase the price of bags by $2 if you purchased tickets for a holiday season after a certain date.
Once you get to the airport the cost of bags is the same for everybody, $9 club fare member or not. My husband flew with two friends of ours this past summer and the three of them were assigned seats in the same row together on both the flight out and the return flight. The cost of selecting a seat ahead of time depends on the seat and the length of the flight. I’ve kicked myself for buying tickets too soon (because I was worried the prices would go up) and then finding the same flight later for about $40 less than I bought the tickets for. One time the price difference was only $10 so it wasn’t a big deal and I still bought the same tickets, but just today one of the flight’s I bought a ticket for yesterday has gone up $77. When I went to buy my ticket’s yesterday I did have a back-up flight time planned for my flight out. So if I went to the airport today to buy my tickets, for the flight times I initially wanted, it would have cost me $67 more.
The trip I just booked yesterday is for next month and the only other airline that came close in price was American Airlines. American does have non-stop flights from DFW to Vegas, but those were much more expensive flights than what I was looking for.
Had my back-up times not been available for the same price, then I would have reassessed and possibly gone with the AA flight. Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links n this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Just got robbed of a vacation by Spirit because ONE plane got held up and our flight was canceled. If you made the reservation online you should have a confirmation code in your Free Spirit account. If you bought your tickets at the airport they probably won’t have it linked to your online account. 2) Do the $9 fare club prices for discounted flights show upon the website WITHOUT buying a membership? Unfortunately I only skimmed the first few lines of a couple of Internet articles claiming that Spirit Airlines was moving to a different terminal.

2) Get to the airport at a busier time or at least close to 1 departure so there are available agents. As insane as it may sound, I still intend to go to the airport yet again tomorrow to purchase tickets. 1) When buying tickets at the airport, are there any restrictions on how far away or close your travel dates are? 2) Are you able to see the reduced $9 fare club membership flight rates BEFORE buying a membership? Carry-on baggage fee will soon cost some Spirit Airlines passengers $100, which is more than they may have paid for their flight. As of November 6, just days before Thanksgiving, customers who wait to pay the carry-on baggage fee at the boarding gate will have to fork over $100. Larger pieces of luggage checked at the airport will cost between $8 and $10 more, while the fee for bags checked online will rise by between $2 and $5.
In the first quarter, Spirit’s average revenue from fees per passenger on a round-trip flight topped $100 for the first time. But as gas prices continue to weigh down beleaguered carriers, airlines are finding new ways to charge passengers additional fees while in transit.
For passengers flying round-trip on Spirit, that’s a $200 cost to simply carry on a single piece of luggage. In an attempt to prevent passengers from waiting to pay until reaching the boarding gate, the airline drops the fee to just $30 each way if booked online and to $45 each way if paid for at a kiosk or the ticket counter. According to data collected by USA Today, other major carriers such as Delta and American recently bumped their fees for a second checked bag to $75 and $70 respectively for some international flights. While most airlines permit travelers to check at least one bag on international flights, the majority of U.S. This is something you might even want to do prior to buying your plane ticket, especially if you're set on bringing a checked bag or two. Even if I didn’t use any of the savings the rest of the year I would be no more than ten dollars worse off. The personal item cannot be more than 16 inches by 14 inches by 12 inches (40 cm x 35 cm x 30 cm).
These are always free of charge but you still have to go through the line to check them as baggage.
We will do our best to reseat you to an open seat (not including our Big Front Seats) if the car seat is too large for a regular seat.
If you are traveling with your kids you will be assigned seats with them even if you don’t buy them ahead of time, but it will probably be in the back of the aircraft. However, I’ve also been in the other situation where the price had gone up since I last checked.
Assuming I’m going to check a bag on Spirit, the price was within a couple of dollars of each other, but Spirit had the edge for having better flight times and non-stop flights. It would take a severe safety-of-flight issue or another airline offering lower fares for us to switch to one of the other airlines. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. My assumption about the man was because we were flying out of Baltimore (not one of Spirit’s hubs) and their flight options are more limited out of that airport.
It supposedly the covers the base fare portion but you can look up a flight online to see the base fare and it will be different when you go to book using your vouchers.
I’ve had prior bad experiences with them as well but the most recent was unjust which included prejudice and disrespect. No big deal except that they could not get us on another flight for over a week – the day we were supposed to come back. Consider flying on Southwest or JetBlue, both of which permit at least one free checked bag on domestic flights. It also makes it easier if you look online ahead of time and know what days and times you want to fly out on. I cannot tell you how many times we have lugged heavy backpacks on those flights to make sure our checked bag did not exceed 40 pounds.
If you are a $9 fare club member, you get a discount on bags (both carry-on and checked) and that is where being a $9 fare club member has saved us the most money. You are also welcome to bring them on the plane for your child to sit in provided they have their own seat (read: not a lap infant).
We will happily check one stroller and one car seat per child for no extra cost at the ticket counter.
It is normally $9 cheaper than the non-club member so this would make it $11 cheaper per bag.

That being said; their snacks and alcohol selection seems to be about the same prices that other airlines charge. It used to be $5 a boarding pass, but the price has recently gone up to $10 a boarding pass. The popularity of your destination and the days you’re flying out on play a big part in how much the price can jump.
If Spirit is the same price as another airline; flight times and non-stop offerings will still be our determining factors for which airline we decide to fly. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. The main point was, they did move him to a different flight to attempt to get him to his destination on time. I priced out going to different places with the vouchers and each time I was paying out of pockets 50%+ of the ticket price. The only thing they offered was a $5 food voucher AFTER all of the food places had already closed, and the voucher was only good for that day.
Denver to houston continuing to costa rica- spirit csncelled our flight due to “weather”but there was perfect westher at all 3 stops- they just didnt have a crew to leave Denver !!
For me flight times and non-stop flights are more important, but I know for some people it may be carry-ons and leg room.
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Your continued use of this site beyond the first page displayed is an acceptance of our terms and conditions. If you know you want to cancel it I would start trying at least a week out to make sure it gets done on time.
And for those who were concerned, yes, they still offer wine-in-a-can on the flights though I definitely do NOT recommend it. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.
On Spirit expect to pay about 50% of what the flight price is and that’s if you can actually get to a live person to book it!!!!
Most people would be better off flying on other airlines as it would be far cheaper when you factor in the baggage. On the payment receipt it’ll be listed under the date on the left side of the receipt. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. Once you can check-in online the price goes up $10 per bag each way, then it goes up again $5 per bag if you purchase it at the ticket counter, and if you don’t pay until you get to the gate it’ll cost you $100 per bag no matter what. You can print your passes at the kiosks at the airport free of charge if that’s easier for you. I’ll see what I can find out if they have a work-around for putting people on other airlines. I’m flying Spirit again on Wednesday to fly home for Christmas, only to learn that they increased their bag fees by $5-10 for the holidays.
Bought our tickets 4 months in advanced, spent all day packing, got to the airport only to be told we were going nowhere and all they would offer us was a refund and to wash their hands of us. If you brain fart and forget to purchase your bag before online check-in the day you leave, you can still get the cheaper rate for your luggage on your return flight provided you’re not flying back within 24 hours. Then instead of boarding passengers zone by zone(normal protocol), they decided to board all the passengers at once. I watched the door close and ask the woman there working for spirit by the name of johanne who also happens to be a (Supervisor) could i board and she rudely, replied no, this flight will not be late for you Haitians. Then she proceeded to tell me go to another gate to get rebooked for the next flight, which happens to be for the following day, how inconvenient. They don’t make up for bad service and fees that will make it just as expensive as any other airline. I would like to take the necessary measures to ensure this airline hold some accountability for the horrific customer service, in which they provide.

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