Spirit Airlines Charging $100 for a Carry-On Bag

WTH Spirit Airlines?! $100 for a carry-on bag?

As the image at left illustrates, people have gone berserk with the carry-on luggage in an effort to avoid the the current fees for checking in luggage. Certainly, Spirit isn’t the only airline jacking up fees for “amenities.” But $100 for a bag, checked in or carried on, is exorbitant.

The increased fee takes effect on November 6; the airline is already charging $45 at the gate to bring a bag on board. The fee goes down to $50 if the passenger pays during check-in, even less, $30, if it’s paid during an online check-in.

CNBC quotes a Spirit statement: “We don’t want any of our customers to wait until they get to the boarding gate to pay for their bag. That delays the boarding process for everyone.” CNBC’s Mandy Drury adds, “You have been warned.”  Here’s a list of all their bag new fees.

So the $100 fee is meant to be a deterrent to lengthy boarding processes due to oversized bags being pushed and shoved into crowded overhead bins. But will customers — who feel as though they’re already being nickeled and dimed — feel that way? With airfares already reaching record highs, it’s doubtful they will. Another option that the airlines have seemingly taken off of the table is lowering fees for checked bags as an incentive for passengers to avoid carry-ons all together. But, since airlines collected $12.5 billion in fees last year, they probably don’t want to mess with a good thing.

Perhaps all the airlines can start by explaining to customers the toll that large carry-on bags are taking on air travel. One thing passengers and airline staff want to do is make air travel more pleasant. If there’s some way that can be done without threatening to send fliers to the poor house, that’s the route airlines should take.