Aviation News

April 6, 2010

Spirit Becomes First Airline to Charge for Carry-On Baggage

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By: Mark Lawrence
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Spirit, with Colorguard©.
Spirit, with Colorguard©.

Spirit, with Colorguard™.

Spirit Airlines announced today that it will begin charging a fee to passengers who carry-on baggage that will be stored in overhead bins. Bags that fit under the seat will remain free. Claiming the fees are actually good for the customer, Spirit said, “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 far industry innovator is progressing to the news phase of unbundling with the introduction of a charge to carry on a bag and be boarded first onto the airplane.”

The admittance fee for your bag will not be cheap: $20 for members of the airline’s “$9 Fare Club,” $30 for all others if you pay for it at the time of check-in, and $45 if you decide to wait until boarding at the gate. The new fees will be added to new bookings starting today for travel on or after August 1st.

Spirit COO Ken Mackenzie added to the “fees are good!” spin, saying “In addition to lowering fares even further, this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve in-flight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process, all of which ultimately improve the overall customer experience”.