Spirited passengers have to pay for carry-on bags

Bitterwallet - Spirit AirlinesThanks to avid Bitterwallet readers Simon, Emma and Stacy for drawing our attention to a press release from US budget airline Spirit, and their new cabin policy that's all to do with helping out their passengers:

In order to continue reducing fares even further and offering customers the option of paying only for the services they want and use rather than subsidizing the choices of others, the low fare industry innovator is also progressing to the next phase of unbundling with the introduction of a charge to carry on a bag.

“In addition to lowering fares even further, this will reduce the number of carry-on bags, which will improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process, all of which ultimately improve the overall customer experience,” says Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer Ken McKenzie.

So in the interests of safety, speeding up turnaround times (a benefit for the airline, not the passenger) and allowing passengers to not have to "subsidise the choices of others", any carry-on luggage that won't fit under a seat will be charged for. How much? If you're not a member of their passenger club, it's $30 - so around £20. Each way.

Spirit Airlines aren't just hopping from state-to-state; they fly coast-to-coast and from the US to South America - how many people are going to get away with travelling with just a handbag? But remember, when our budget airlines take note and attempt something similar, they're doing it all for you.


  • Nobby
    Wear a coat with big pockets.
  • dvdj
    With it being a budget airline it may be cheaper to buy two seats and dress a suitcase up as a person in a wheel chair and have your bag sat next to you. Hopefully the checkin clerks won't be as eagle-eyed as the ones at Liverpool.
  • David
    Brilliant idea - a lot of time is wasted with people trying to stuff 3 or 4 oversize bags and duty-frees in the overhead bins. Maybe they can get rid of the over head bins and give us a bit more room to move around.
  • Chris
    What Americans are normally allowed to bring on board is nothing compared to what we are allowed. They have HUGE limits on carry on luggage. This airline has pretty much reduced the limits to what we are allowed on board over here :)
  • SJT
    "Maybe they can get rid of the over head bins and give us a bit more room to move around." yeah, because when you are able to walk around on the plane ceiling, you're not about to die.
  • Chad
    This sucks! If we don't put our foot down, all airlines will follow with this stupid policy! I'm glad I've never flown your airlines and you can be sure I won't in the future. BITE ME!
  • Harriet
    Wow, there is actually someone out there as ruthless and determined to squeeze every penny (or cent) out of passengers who is not Ryanair. Only problem I've noticed with Ryanair is people have to squeeze everything into one bag, get on the plane and then spend 5 minutes taking out what they need for the flight whereas before they were more efficient and had what they needed ready in their separate bag or handbag or laptop.
  • Ryanair B.
    [...] if Ryanair follow the lead of Sprint Airlines in the US and begin charging for cabin baggage, it’ll be because customers demanded it. Brilliant. It really is the most feckless collection [...]

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