/ / / / /

Spirit Air Now Charging For Both Carry-On and Checked Baggage

April 6, 2010 at 8:29 AM | by | ()

Would you like to fly for 1 cent? Spirit Air can make it happen, if you'll just join their airfare club and pay their upped baggage fees. Thus there's two parts to today's news on Spirit Airlines: new baggage fees and airfares for a single penny.

Fees for checked and carry-on baggage: Effective for flights booked today and on for flights after August 1, passengers on Spirit Airlines must also pay to bring on a carry-on above a personal item. This is a completely new fee, since carry-ons used to be free. Not anymore! To take on any bag aside from personal items like purse or briefcase, you'll be paying $20 online if you're a Spirit club member, $30 online for non-members and $45 at the airport. You will get "priority boarding," however. Along with this new fee, the checked rates have gone up to $15 online for members on domestic/$20 international, $25 online for non-members on domestic/$30 international and $45 for anyone checking their bag at the airport. And that's just the first bag!

Spirit Airlines, this is getting prohibitively complicated! Now for the sale information...

Airfares from 1 penny: Perhaps we should be happy that Spirit isn't having another of their bawdily-named airfare sales, but there is just so much fine print to this one that we're tempted to dismiss it straightaway. It's for their $9 Fare Club members only, and to join that club you have to lay down $40 annually; nevermind that whenever we search for Spirit flights, we never see $9 fares listed for the $9 Club.

So if you're a member of the club, there are currently a million seats on Spirit flights available from only a penny. But that penny can quickly become $117 no matter how hard you try. For example, a one-way, one person "Penny" fare:

"Penny Plus" sale from Detroit—Las Vegas
Ticket: 1 cent
Carry-on baggage paid at airport: $45
Fuel: $54.22
Taxes & Fees: $18.70
Total: $117.93

Now double that if you want to do a round-trip, and you're at a level competitive with the regular tickets from legacy airlines. Take into consideration that you paid Spirit $40 to have these low fares, and you'll see how convoluted and just-not-worth-it this sale—and possibly the whole $9 Fare Club—is.

Related Stories:
· Spirit Baggage Policies [Official Site]
· $9 Fare Club [Spirit Air]
· Baggage fee news [Jaunted]

[Photo: Willamor Media]

Archived Comments:

great article...

On top of a list of fees, you also get the added bonus of filthy airplanes, a clusterf*** of a hub at Fort Lauderdale, and the complete and utter contempt of their staff, with the exception of the flight attendants. Hint, if you're unlucky enough to be on Spirit Airlines, flirt with the flight attendants and they'll give you free stuff! They hate the company as much as the passengers do.

A carry-on fee?

Paying for a carry-on is just ridiculous. These these not-so-little fees add up to a lot and people won't be able to afford to fly anymore. Boo on you, Spirit Air.

$9 Fare Club

Why wouldn't the member pay $20 online if they have a carry on?? That's a $25 savings right there.

well we had to pick one

@TonyT Well, we had to pick one option and so we went for the one we think will be most popular with passengers this year: the pay-at-airport option. AIrlines love these fees because they often catch people by surprise, and this $45 is sure to snag a high percentage. With the online option, it's still $92.93 each way for a "Penny" fare for a person who has already paid them $40 a year for the privilege to even have this fare option.

Thank god!

I never fly Spirit Air and never will. But sadly, all the other airlines are going to follow suit this summer.