Spirit Airlines (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood) has announced it will charge $100 to check a bag at the gate. The airline is taking the radical step because last minute bag checks at the gate are often delaying the departures according to the airline.
The airline issued the following statement:
Spirit Airlines’ (SAVE) carry-on bag program — which includes priority boarding — has proven successful for customers and the airline. It has helped speed the boarding process, ensured sufficient overhead space is available for all carry-on bags, and it has helped reduce the airline’s fuel consumption rate by the equivalent of nearly six million gallons in the past year alone. The success of the program has allowed customers to pay for only the services that they use and it has permitted Spirit to continue lowering fares for its customers.
Unfortunately, some customers are still waiting until they reach the boarding gate to purchase their carry-on. This slows the boarding process for all customers, delays flights, increases costs for the company, and ultimately results in higher fares for everyone.
Starting November 6, 2012, customers who wait until the last minute to purchase their carry-on at the boarding gate will be charged $100. The $100 carry-on bag fee is intentionally set high to deter costly delay-causing gate activity.
Much lower priced options are available for those who plan ahead and reserve their bags in advance with prices from as little as $20.
“Our goal is for no customer ever to pay the $100 fee,” says Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer Tony Lefebvre. “Spirit offers our customers multiple opportunities to avoid this unnecessary fee and save money. By planning ahead and paying for bags before getting to the boarding gate, our customers are saving time at the airport and speeding up the boarding process. When our customers choose these time-saving, self-service options, our costs go down, and we can pass those savings along to our customers.”
Spirit says advance planning can bring significant savings to customers if they purchase their bags in advance online when making their reservation, when checking in online, at an airport kiosk, or at an airport ticket counter. Checked bags are available for as low as $20 and carry-ons for as little as $25 (including priority boarding).
Spirit’s “Bring Less, Pay Less” bag program passes the cost of handling bags solely to those bringing bags rather than have everyone subsidize these costs. Customers who bring less, pay less. That’s exactly what has happened at Spirit. Spirit’s customers have reduced the amount of baggage, saved money and helped the company conserve the equivalent of nearly six million gallons of fuel in the last year alone compared to the rate of consumption before the introduction of the program.
Spirit Bag Fees (effective November 6, 2012):
|$9 Fare Club
Counter or Kiosk
Spirit continues to offer customers one free personal item that fits under the seat free of charge. Also, a list of other items that are exempt from the carry-on bag fee can be found at spirit.com.
Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Airbus A319-132 N505NK (msn 2485) taxies off the runway at Las Vegas.