Spirit Airlines starts charging $45 for carry-on bags. Protest now or pay later

spirit airlines starts charging $45 per bag for carry-ons.
spirit airlines starts charging $45 per bag for carry-ons.

Spirit Airlines has announced that as of August 1, it will be the first domestic airline to charge for carry-on baggage. If you bring anything bigger than what can fit under the seat in front of you, you'll pay as much as $45.

The airline's press release about it is, of course, total bunkum. The announcement isn't framed as the consumer-robbing precedent it is but as a reduction in bag fees, since checked bags will now cost $15. It also tries to pawn off the new carry-on charge as a bargain, saying it's "only $20". But, wait -- that's not the whole truth! Look closely, and you'll see that you have to be a member of the airline's "$9 Fare Club" to get those rates (an annual membership costs $40), and you have to pre-book online. The rest of us pay $10 more for each, or $30 for hand baggage and $25 for checked luggage.

It gets worse. That's for online reservations. Register a carry-on at the gate and the general public is walloped with a $45 fee per bag, each way. If it's larger than 16 inches by 14 inches by 12 inches, you're going to pay.