Spirit to Charge $45 for a Carry On Bag

Low-cost airline plans to charge customers almost 50 bucks to store a carry on bag

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Spirit Airlines, which flies out of Atlantic City, N.J. plans to charge customers as much as $45 for a carry on bag.

    With the summer travel season right around the corner most of you are gearing up for higher gas prices, crowds at the beach and long lines at the airport. And thanks to Spirit Airlines you now have something else to worry about before you leave home -- carry on luggage fees.

    On Monday, Spirit Airlines presented their brand new Penny Plus Fares initiative and snuck in the little tidbit about their new carry on fees.

    Set to begin August 1, Spirit customers will have to dish out as much as $45 each way to bring one carry on bag on board. If you are a member of their fare club the fee is only $20 and for non-members that check in online or via phone you pay $30.

    There are exceptions to the carry on bag fee items like umbrellas, diaper bags and pet containers.

    Customers that pay for the use of overhead space will also get to board earlier than those of you that know how to pack lightly.

    The airline justifies this new fee as a way to encourage their flyers to check more bags and it is supposed to help with boarding and deplaning quicker.

    “Bring less; pay less. It’s simple,” Sprit's COO Ken McKenzie said of the new fee.

    It is only $5 dollars cheaper to check a bag on Spirit.

    Spirit, which bills itself as a Ultra Low Cost Carrier, has already felt the scorn of its competition. Jet Blue was the first to poke fun at the airline's decision, stating on their blog Blue Tales:

    "In case you were wondering, JetBlue will continue to offer a free first checked bag, not to mention that you can bring your Mickey Mouse ears, your magazine collection, your favorite wrinkle-free slacks, and your lunch onboard, and enjoy free use of the overhead bins and more legroom than any other airline in its class."

    They even went as far as to suggest a special "outerwear" for customers that can’t travel with them. Called the Extrago Sherpa Shirt, its wearer can store everything they need without having to actually check a bag. JetBlue did point out that the ad was fake and that the shirt was unavailable for purchase -- pity.

    Hopefully customer outrage will scare the bigger airlines away from adopting a similar fee.