If you’ve ever searched for airfare, you’ve probably come across Spirit Airlines, a low-cost, low-frills carriers that has astronomically cheap airfares. The reason they have such low prices is because of their optional add-on services, that in many cases, often comes near, or equal to that of their legacy counterparts such as American, United and Delta.
Many folks don’t realize what Spirit charges for, and how much it differs from a mainline carrier, so I thought it worthwhile to explain their charges so you’re aware before booking your next ticket. Spirit’s mentality is that you shouldn’t pay for what you aren’t using.
For the purposes of these calculations, I’ll assume one is not a member of their $9 Fare Club, which gets you reduced fees, but charges an annual membership.
Yes, Spirit goes so far as to charge you for carry-on bags. If you’re booking a ticket on them, you basically need to either account for this or a checked bag in your price calculations, since I’m guessing none of you are traveling to your destinations without at least a change of underwear. 🙂 If you purchase your carry-on bag during online booking, it will “only” set you back $35. If you purchase later, the price goes up.
Like their carry-on fees, you’ll also pay for bags checked in the hold. For one bag, that’s as “little” as $30. It’s cheaper to check one bag, than it is to carry-on one bag, funny enough.
If you want to sit in a certain spot (maybe an aisle up front, or a window seat in the rear, perhaps), you’ll have to pay up for it. Want to sit next to a friend or family member? Pay up. You pay per seat, and it’s dependent on the flight length as to what the selection price will be. You can even select one of their “Big Front Seats” which is similar to a typical domestic First seat, without the meal service and added extras.
If you want to have priority boarding, it’s $5.99 per segment.
Printed Boarding Pass
If you want to print your boarding pass at home, that’s free, however if you want to print it at an airport kiosk, that’s an additional $2. Want to have an airport agent print it? Add $10 to your ticket.
- You’ll pay $15 to book over the phone.
- You’ll pay $5 for a group booking.
- If you want to standby for an earlier flight, that’s $25.
- Award medications and re-deposits are $110.
- If you change your itinerary online, it’s $110, while if an airport agent does it, it’s $120. This is almost half what legacy carriers charge, FYI.
With all of this, it’s hard to imagine that Spirit comes in any cheaper than other airlines. That said, many swear by Spirit (I don’t). It’s worthwhile to understand their fee structure, though, before you assume Spirit will be cheaper than any other ticket you can find.
What do you think about Spirit’s fees? Do you fly them? Do you mind the fees?
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