Spirit Airlines has announced a new $100 fee for checking carry-on bags at the boarding gate. Starting November 6, 2012, customers who wait until the last minute to purchase their carry-on space will face the $100 fee. Spirit says the fee is intentionally set high to "deter costly delay-causing gate activity." Lower-priced options are available for those who plan ahead and reserve their bags in advance with prices as low as $20 if done online, Spirit says.
“Our goal is for no customer ever to pay the $100 fee,” says Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer Tony Lefebvre. “Spirit offers our customers multiple opportunities to avoid this unnecessary fee and save money."
"By planning ahead and paying for bags before getting to the boarding gate, our customers are saving time at the airport and speeding up the boarding process. When our customers choose these time-saving, self-service options, our costs go down, and we can pass those savings along to our customers," Spirit says.
Spirit says customers save money if they purchase their bags in advance online when making their reservation, when checking in online, at an airport kiosk, or at an airport ticket counter. Checked bags are available for as low as $20 and carry-ons for as little as $25 (including priority boarding).Carry-on checked at airport ticket counter or kiosk:$50. Online: $35. Telephone: $40.
Spirit says its “Bring Less, Pay Less” bag program passes the cost of handling bags solely to those bringing bags rather than having everyone subsidize these costs.
"Customers who bring less, pay less. That’s exactly what has happened at Spirit. Spirit’s customers have reduced the amount of baggage, saved money and helped the company conserve the equivalent of nearly six million gallons of fuel in the last year alone compared to the rate of consumption before the introduction of the program."
Spirit says it continues to offer customers one free personal item that fits under the seat free of charge. Also, a list of other items that are exempt from the carry-on bag fee can be found at www.spirit.com.