Spirit Airlines Is First to Charge for Carry-Ons

It can cost up to $45 each way to store a bag overhead
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2010 12:40 PM CDT
Spirit Airlines Is First to Charge for Carry-Ons
Passengers are served at a ticket counter for Spirit Airlines at LaGuardia Airport in New York.   (AP Photo)

Another first in airline fees: Spirit Airlines is going to charge for most carry-on bags. If it's bigger than 16” by 14” by 12”, prepare to pay $45 each way. USA Today surmises that the airline is the first in the US and perhaps the world to charge for carry-ons, which the Florida-based company says will “ultimately improve the overall customer experience.” Plus, you can join a club and pare that fee down to a middling $20.

The fees break down thusly: Bring a carry-on to the gate, and it’s a straight $45—"you'll have to pull out your credit card," says the CEO. “Reserve” a spot in the overhead bins beforehand, and it’s $30. Or join the “$9 Fare Club” and it's $20. The carrier is confident its policy will be a hit with customers. “Bring less; pay less. It's simple,” says an exec. (More Spirit Airlines stories.)

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