Why Spirit Is Increasing Holiday Bag Fees By $2

Filed Under: Other Airlines

There’s quite a bit of buzz around the web today about Spirit Airlines announcing that they’ll be increasing bag fees for travel around the holidays. Spirit will be charging an extra $2 per bag for travel booked after August 19, 2014, for travel between December 18, 2014, and January 5, 2015.

They phrase the announcement as follows:

Winter is coming… and that means holidays. Which means more people than ever will be flying with Spirit to visit their loved ones. To make sure we have room for everyone’s bags, we’re encouraging customers to pack a bit lighter. So, for travel booked after 8/19/14, for flights between 12/18/14 and 1/5/15, standard checked bags will be $2 more than listed below. Spend less time packing and more time laughing with family and friends this holiday season. Remember, $9 Fare Club members will keep their great prices and save even more during this period!

As a reminder, Spirit is one of the only US airlines to charge for carry-ons, so this applies to both carry-on bags and checked bags.


People seem to be missing the real reason Spirit is doing this. It’s not for an extra $2 (though that doesn’t hurt either), or because they want to make sure they have “room for everyone’s bags.”

It’s because Spirit is a lean, mean, marketing machine, and doing this generates buzz. Whether you agree with it or not, Spirit believes any publicity is good publicity.

Don’t believe me? This is the airline that ran the “Hate Thousand Miles” campaign, whereby they gave you 8,000 miles for complaining about them!



Spirit’s hope is that seeing this story in the news will remind you to book your holiday travel, and if nothing else, will at least convince you to look at what Spirit is charging.

While I don’t have any interest in flying Spirit, I commend them on being one of the most transparent and innovative airlines in this country.

What do you think? Agree or disagree?

  1. I agree, things like this have been done by other LCC. Allegiant also charges for carry-on bags. Another airline that people shouldn’t have to fly.

  2. I have enjoyed a few flights on Spirit and Allegiant. AND I’m enjoying more free magazines than I can handle from their latest gimmick.

  3. Customers complain about their cramped seats, lack of service and fees for everything. That being said, customers will still endure a lot to save $50 on a flight. You get what you pay for.

    I also love that they charge more for a carry-on bag than they do for your first checked bag.

  4. They don’t charge for the personal item that you can place underneath the seat in front of you. They even have a video where they believe you can pack everything you need for a weekend in the beach inside a personal item (I agree with them!)
    You do get what you pay for and I would fly Spirit for any flight less than 2 hours. I think the price is really cheap and if a few friends want to go down south to get some beach time, I’d go for it. The Big Front Seat is similar to domestic first class of the legacy carriers and it only costs $50-$70 more. Not bad at all.

  5. Assuming this change hadn’t been buried somewhere in the contract of carriage for several weeks but is only being publicized now (and I wouldn’t put it past Spirit to have done so), wouldn’t it run afoul of DOT regulations requiring prior notice of baggage fee increases, such that the increase cannot apply to tickets purchased prior to the announcement date, regardless of travel date?

  6. I am not sure treating your customers like garbage is particularly innovative. Ryanair seems to have been the leader in that category…

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