The catch. There’s always a catch. First, it was the pretzels, then the pillows and blankets, now one low-fare airline is about to sock it to us again. According to news reports, Spirit Airlines will soon become the first big U.S. carrier to charge customers for all checked luggage.
According to the company, travelers booking flights that depart after June 19 will be allowed one carry-on bag “with the option to check additional bags for a fee.” Spirit executives explain the new policy as something that “liberates customers from being forced into paying for services they do not desire or use.”
Okay, I’ll admit that there have been three times when I have flown with just a carry-on bag, but both times were pre-children and neither were business related. But, apparently there are travelers out there (thousands, according to Spirit execs) who want low fares—no matter what.
“Our customers have called for even lower fares and we have listened,” a Spirit executive told reporters. “As customers have told us over and over, it’s all about the fare.”
And, if it’s Ala Carte options that travelers want—that’s exactly what Spirit Airlines will give them.
Here’s the breakdown:
Once Spirit’s new policy starts on June 20, checked bags will cost $5 each if booked online in advance or $10 each for one or two bags. Travelers can expect to pay $100 for a third bag. But, the Ala Carte charges doesn’t stop there. Spirit will now start charging $1 for soft drinks, which they currently offer for free.
One more note about the luggage charge—-a section on Spirit’s website reads that the airline would “only guarantee the transportation of one item as checked luggage per fare paying customer” once the rule takes effect on June 20th. It goes on to say “additional bags can be purchased on a first-come first-served basis,” but adds that it “cannot guarantee that there will be space for extra bags and will not be held responsible for any additional items brought to the airport by the customer.”
Yes, there’s nothing like arriving at the airport with two bags and being told that only one will be joining you on your flight. Of course, there are some airlines where similar baggage incidents occur—-only at least with Spirit you are told that your bag won’t make it to your final destination.
What do you think of the new Ala Carte services?