Posted by: Jerry Garrett | October 19, 2012

Spirit Airlines Carry-On Bag Fee Now $100

Spirit Airlines, the carrier with fares as low as $9 (for you), has announced your carry-on bag is now worth 1,111 percent more than you are.

At least that’s what they are going to charge you at the gate, if you try to carry on a bag they don’t approve of.

Read more from Peter Greenberg here: http://www.petergreenberg.com/2012/10/19/travel-tip-new-airline-fees/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Supposedly, the FAA says airline passengers have the right to carry onto a commercial airliner certain items for no additional charge.

Here is the latest Spirit Airlines policy, according to their website:

“…we always provide one personal item free of charge per customer. Personal items (e.g. purse, small backpack, briefcase, etc.) must fit underneath the seat, so the dimensions must not exceed 16 x 14 x 12 inches (40 x 35 x 30 cm). Additionally, the following carry-on items are not counted towards a customer’s carry-on bag allowance and can be brought with you on all flights free of charge – umbrella, camera, infant diaper bag, assistive devices, outer garments (e.g. coats, hats, and wraps), stroller, reading material, and food for the flight…”

The customer service-oriented folks at Spirit will now apparently tell you whether they think your carry-on qualifies as a freebie, or a $100 penalty.

Spirit, in a move that sounds like intimidation, or bluffing, says it will only charge you $35 if you pay for the bag online, before the flight; or, they’ll try to nail you for $50 if they spot it at the check-in counter. If you manage to sneak it past the check-in counter staff, and get caught at the gate, that’s when the $100 charge kicks in.

Of course, if you just want to check the bag, Spirit has a big fat separate fee for that.

Spirit also has a bunch of separate fees, like for reserving a decent seat, or seats together for people traveling together, or drinks, or snacks, or… (I think toilet paper is still free in the loo, but always carry a couple of tissues in your pocket just in case.)

How cheap is that $9 fare looking now?

[P.S. If you have an opinion about burgeoning airline fees in general, or this one in particular, a congressional committee wants to hear from you. Go to Regulations.gov and look for the Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection form to fill out. Please, no swear words, all caps, or crayon.]

Jerry Garrett

October 19, 2012

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