April 6, 2010

Spirit Airlines to charge for carry-on luggage

Included in a press release announcing a fare sale, Spirit Airlines also announced today that they are now charging for carry-on luggage for travel effective August 1.  The airline justifies the new fees as an attempt to, “improve inflight safety and efficiency by speeding up the boarding and deplaning process.”

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.

But for those times when you can’t travel on JetBlue, we recommend you check out our expertly-crafted Extrago Sherpa Shirt*, special outerwear that we designed to hold “an entire trip’s worth of necessities, including the money you’ll save by not checking or carrying on your bag.” (see below for image)

*not actually available for retail sale

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72 Comments on “Spirit Airlines to charge for carry-on luggage”

  • Posted by uberVU - social comments on April 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by flyingwithfish: RT @MHJohnston: Spirit Airlines to charge for carry-on luggage – @JetBlue has a suggestion for their customers. http://bit.ly/di8FRq #travel…

  • Posted by John on April 6, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I don’t think it’s fair for JetBlue to mock Spirit; after all, most of the JetBlue crewmembers have parents or most likely grandparents as flight attendants on Spirit out of Ft. Lauderdale.

  • Posted by Michael on April 6, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Yeah…interesting that in 2009 Spirit with only 30 airplanes made almost twice as much money than Jetblue that has 150 jets. Spirit flights are always full. They started the “charge for checked bags” and all airlines made fun…Now even legacy carriers are doing what Spirit started.
    Funny indeed…

  • Posted by b on April 6, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    sad to be mocking Spirit Air.. but still, I wont be flying SA if they are charging for carry-ons.. Usually I am having to carry my 1) purse 2) camera 3)laptop 4) actual carry-on. Its already ridiculous enough- that would be what, $180 a flight? passs…

  • Posted by OnSecondThought on April 6, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Shows the ignorance of the flying public if they fail to add all the “fees” being charged to calculate the actual ticket price–Spirit is no bargain and in fact an insult. If I can drive within 8 hours I will take my car without question. No security lines, fees, or rental car costs.

    Otherwise Jet Blue has had and will continue to have my business.

  • Posted by Scott on April 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Actually Michael Allegiant air was the first to charge for all checked bags. And they arn’t even dumb enough to charge for carry ons.

  • Posted by tom on April 6, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    They said that “spirit” would not last when they started charging for checked bags and inflight drinks. I know that its true they no-longer have full flights instead they oversell every flight….
    Hats off to you “spirit” , the public will pay if they want to fly..

  • Posted by Cooking on April 6, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    “Mocking”? It is not “mocking”; it is clever and innovative.

  • Posted by jetBlue flyer on April 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    Who’s the model on the picture, because he is hot and beautiful

  • Posted by lee on April 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Agree with Cooking. I think it is clever on part of Jetblue.

  • Posted by thomas on April 6, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    This will cut down on customers arguing over “their” bin space, carrying on more than the one carry-on and one personal item and most of all the time spent boarding and leaving the aircraft.

  • Posted by Angry Flyer on April 6, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    So tell me this JetBlue…why then, do you even charge for any bags? I do not agree with Spirit’s decision to charge for carry on but you followed suit when carriers began charging for checked bags…even if the first one is free, why not just raise ticket prices? Even after oil prices went down, the fees remained!

  • Posted by Frequent Flyer on April 6, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    I think it’s clever and entertaining, but then again, I’m not one of those Americans who finds any opportunity to get their panties in a bundle. People need to fly – and so regardless of whether one airline, or all airlines charge for this or that, in the end it’s a necessity and we’ll continue to board. But while their is a choice out there, why would you pay to bring on a carry on if their are still airlines that don’t charge? The issue to me Thomas, is that if you want to cut down on boarding time and arguing over bin space, then there should be more monitering of exactly how many carry-ons are being brought on in the first place. If you are allowed one carry-on and one personal, then how about that’s exactly what you bring? Employees at the gates and check in should be doing their job and limiting your carry ons – then maybe the passenger wouldn’t suffer from these kinds of changes.

  • Posted by Sallie on April 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Foreign airlines, such as Air Newzealand, are serious about size of carryon. They actually use the rack at boarding gate to make sure oversize items are stowed rather than carried on. It is time domestic airlines did that.

  • Posted by sss on April 6, 2010 at 10:58 pm

    no issue for me, I dont fly. to hell w the airlines.

  • Posted by Long Time Traveler on April 7, 2010 at 12:26 am

    What a bunch of Freakin Idiots. There are way to many choices these days. Good luck on this one. Did you hear that you will need to buy a token to use the can?

  • Posted by uberVU - social comments on April 7, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by minamhere: @jetblue If only it was real, I’d buy it so I could save some legroom on other airlines: http://blog.jetblue.com/?p=4916

  • Posted by ange on April 7, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I’ve never flown on JetBlue, but I’m about 200% more likely to look for them now… definitely fond of any company who can take a jab at the competition like that.

  • Posted by Cathy Hughes on April 7, 2010 at 2:22 am

    What is the total cost of my ticket? I’m sorry, we don’t really know because we have so many add-ons and new ones are arriving each day. We will tell you when you arrive to check in. Of course, we can not guarantee that there will be a seat available because we may have overbooked. Sorry for the inconvenience!

  • Posted by clearvoice on April 7, 2010 at 2:49 am

    We travel agents are already getting together to boycott and trash Spirit.
    Enough is Enough.
    This is the same airline that wants to install coin operated bathrooms.

  • Posted by JetBlue Flyer on April 7, 2010 at 4:25 am

    lol all the people defending spirit are it’s emplyees lol bunch of crybabies dont worry you will be out of buisness soon and JetBlue will take over all youre routes lol.

  • Posted by Ryan Walean on April 7, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Well, for Spirit Airlines, that for many people is quite ridiculous – why would an airline charge for carry-on bags? And for up to $45!? Well I’m not paying that much more just to fly…

    And by the way, Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), the airport that I am close to, has JetBlue service, but the really good news is that there’s no Spirit Airlines service there…

  • Posted by james sturgis sr on April 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    now i understand a catch 22 . if you pre-ship your luggage by ups and fly without luggage you may be suspected of being a bomber. why don’t spirit just go ahead and charge the extra $45. glad i keep my car in good health to hit the road. is this another form of price gouging? i think so.

  • Posted by Nancy on April 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Jetblue will continue to get our business out of Ft. Lauderdale. Spirit’s charges from the reserved seats to charging for each bag, even international are insulting. Spirit is no bargain. I’d rather see the fares increase than insult the public with these ridiculous charges for gabs, etc. What next, swipe your credit card to enter the disgusting bathrooms?

  • Posted by CJ on April 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Here’s a thought. Why not just have everyone step on a freight scale with their luggage next to them and the airlines could just charge a per pound fee? It would mean that they could charge a flat fee for the first, say, 250 lbs, and then tack on more for the pounds the passenger went over. It would work regardless of how many bags someone wanted to bring or the weight of the person. Then the airlines could just charge by the pound…that way the overweight people would pay for the extra weight that they bring on (in fat pounds) along with the Diva who needs four bags of clothes. Problem solved…you’re welcome!!

  • Posted by Cheese on April 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I hear that Spirit wants to remove the seats and charge people extra for a stool…LOL I couldn’t help myself…I just hope they don’t make their crew members pay extra to bring their carry-ons.

  • Posted by Lisa on April 7, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I agree. This is RIDICULOUS and I emailed Spirit Airlines to tell them so. There are thousands of lame excuses for why these baggage fees were added and in the end it’s all about revenue. It was said that when gas rose above $4.00 per gallon, that fuel prices were the reason. Well gas and jet fuel have been almost half the price it was and I only saw baggage fees escalate, not decline. I wouldn’t ride Spirit Airlines with these fees if YOU paid for the ticket. Their service isn’t that great anyway and their planes are often late. Poot on them and any other airline that tries this mess.

  • Posted by JetBlueLoyal on April 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    JetBlue is an exceptional airline. Great staff, great service and great prices. They will continue to get my business, especially with all their direct flights!

  • Posted by Jeremy on April 7, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    What is this touchiness about “mocking” spirit air? These jokers created the fee for checked baggage and are now trying to squeeze even more money out of their passengers. They deserve all the mocking we can throw at them.

  • Posted by Justin on April 7, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    I can’t wait for the ad jetBlue produces once Spirit installs the coin-op lavs. I think the jetBlue ‘pocket pisser’ will be a big seller for passengers flying on other airlines. We need to prepare ourselves for Spirit to announce unpressurized cabins. Of course it will be for the passengers benefit, so they don’t have to pay for things like air, that they don’t really need. Maybe the mask at your seat will come with free air piped in from the coin-op lav, but for the bargin price of $45 a leg, you can get a little engine exhaust air. And for all the divas, there can be some designer oxygen for $100 per leg. Then we’ll get Mr. Baldanza to explain to us that it’s really in the passengers best interests, as the service is now unbundled and passengers don’t have to pay for something they don’t need. It’s also a safety issue as the masks will already be in use, so in an emergency, there’s not frantic rush to put your mask on first before helping the person next to you.

  • Posted by Jeremy on April 7, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Are you upset by outrageous airline fees, join the facebook group above and discuss them.

    I’m happy that Jetblue has decided to be reasonable, I’ve flown the latest offender before but will not be flying them again at the rate they are going. Quite frankly, I don’t think they will be around to be flown!

  • Posted by sandy on April 7, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    jetblue you so crazy.
    this is funny.
    kudos on the super fast witty rebuttle.

  • Posted by NKFan on April 7, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    Ha. To all who think its ridiculous, consider this.

    JetBlue load factor is 67%, out of FLL alone. They are HEMORRHAGING money. Not bleeding, HEMORRHAGING. Hence the need for Lufthansa (a GERMAN airline) to dump money into them.

    They can play this game of free this free that, but it wont last long. Spirits fares have gone way down to compensate. You end up paying the same amount. I for one am tired of the 80 pound woman dragging the 90 pound suitcase smacking me in the head while she begs me to put it in the over head bin.

    Kudos Spirit for having the cajones to do this. Everyone will follow suit. All of you need to take a look at Ryanair and easyJet. This mentality is a way of life in Europe.

    Go cry! Time to get real. Wake up and smell the economy. This isn’t 1970 anymore.

  • Posted by Colby on April 8, 2010 at 2:01 am

    At Southwest, bags fly free. Bangarang!

  • Posted by Colby on April 8, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Also, just charge more instead of charging for bags dopies.

  • Posted by ohno! on April 8, 2010 at 4:29 am

    I flew Spirit Airlines just once, round trip. It was the most awful travel experience. complete disorder and mayhem. if that’s the future of travel, we’re all in for it.

  • Posted by JJ320 on April 8, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    NKFan, a.k.a. Ben Baldanza, please tell us more on how you are going to lead Indigo’s charge to the bottom. Better yet, before you lose anymore respect among the human race go back to playing your board games and making tacky advertisements that make us laugh at you and Indigo.

    Actually, try putting out a good product at a fair price instead of lowering the bar (even more)… that’s right, you don’t have the fortitude nor aptitude to accomplish something of that nature.

    BTW: Why are you over here on JetBlue’s board if they are loosing TON’s of money??? Go back to your pilot contract talks and pay them something within industry standards instead of looking for 250 hour pilots to work for you at Pizza Boy delivery wages;)

  • Posted by R.J on April 9, 2010 at 1:28 am

    (Well said JJ320). I have to feel sorry for the employees at Spirit how embarrassing for them, id be so embarrassed to say I work for Spirit Airlines what a JOKE!. As far as the post’s on here about Spirit making so much money. NOT TRUE ! they are a privately held company and don’t disclose profits to the public and they can tell you what ever they want you to think. If they are making money hand over fist why the need to issue the W.A.R.N act in 2008 advised employees of a possible lay-off. Why the base closure in SJU ? Why can’t you ratify a contract? why do u have to charge for carry-on’s if your so wealthy like Southwest? The fact is that Spirit is the Circus in the sky and a laughing stock of the airline industry. PURE TRASH !

  • Posted by Judy Skow on April 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Sounds like a great shirt. The way things are going we will need not only a shirt like this but diapers so we won’t have to pay for the toilet!

  • Posted by Jeff Ebaugh on April 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    For those of you who don’t like Spirit policies. It’s very simple. Don’t fly on them if you don’t want too. The truth is they don’t need you, and the CEO will tell you that to your face. They maybe the Walmart in the sky, but guess what, Walmart makes a LOT of money. Spirit is not for everyone, just those who want to fly cheap. If you want to get treated like a princess go fly on Jetblue.

  • Posted by rose70 on April 12, 2010 at 4:23 am

    I think that Jon,Michael and Tom actually work for Spirit! It’s the only way I can explain thei ignorance! I just flew on SPirit and I can tell you that I am running back to JetBLue. I will bet that they will be out of business within the next 5 years. Their customer service which by the way is located in a foreign country is not even trained well(I have travel agent/customer service experience) in dealing w/ the public and they cannot even speak English well unless you speak w/ a supervisor! They nickel and dime you for everything as well! It’s not only paying for checked bags! I would almost even let that slide! It’s paying for your seats or waiting until 24 hours before to see if maybe your group is sitting together while the comouter randomly selects your seats,paying for carry-ons,snacks,etc.! I applaud JetBLue and keep mocking them because they deserve it!Spirit is ridiculous!Whoever flies on Spirit needs their head examined!

  • Posted by Matt on April 14, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    People….lighten up. This is supposed to be humorous…and it is! And let me say…adding the scarf…GENIUS!

  • Posted by c on April 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    This is brilliant Jet and an apt response to the appauling and diabolical greed of your competitors, I won’t be flying with spirit again!!!

    Hardly in the spirit of things they have shot themselves in the foot with this charge!

  • Posted by Stephanie on April 14, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Spirit really shot themselves in the foot with the carry on bag fee. Now other airlines are making fun of them? That’ll be hard to recover from.

  • Posted by RobertKCole on April 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    It seems you may have missed the main point of Spirit’s strategy. With fewer carry-on bags occupying the under seat and overhead bin areas, this provides Spirit with substantially more area to store passengers on their flights.

    Inflight announcement scripts would be changed to include:

    “In preparation for landing, please place small children or traveling companions under the seat in front of you or in an overhead bin.”

    and

    “After we come to a complete stop at the gate, please use caution opening the overhead bins as the contents may have shifted in flight and are likely to be a bit stiff and cranky.”

    Thanks for not drinking whatever kool-aid Spirit is serving…

  • Posted by Billy Bell on April 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Spirit Air is sucking the life out of flyers. I just quit my membership.Why dont they give consumers a break like http://www.loganairportvaletparking.com does?

  • Posted by Julia on April 22, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    This is hilarious! Can’t believe how fast this came out after Spirit’s announcement, too. And charging for carry-on’s is a total mock-worthy concept! If all airlines start to add this charge though, I’ll have to make sure my local luggage store (http://www.luggagepros.com/) starts carrying this shirt in a better color.

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  • Posted by Love to fly on May 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    I am also a frequent flyer and definitely agree, people need to fly; and regardless of whether or not one airline or all airlines charge for this or that, flying is a necessity and we’ll continue to board. However, while there is a choice out there, I don’t see why one would pay to bring on a carry on if there are still airlines that don’t charge? The most cost effective way to cut down on boarding time and arguing over bin space, is for the airline to closely monitor how many carry-ons are being brought on in by each passenger. If you are allowed only one carry-on and one personal, then that’s exactly what you should bring. If you choose to carry more, then it is simple, pay for the extra bag or find another carrier that will not charge. We all have choices and your choice should not inconvenience but you alone. Employees at the gates and check in should do their job and enforce carry-on restrictions.

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