Spirit Airlines boosts fee for booking domestic flights online
Spirit has long promoted itself as the ultra low-budget airline that offers fares as low as $9 each way. But the airline also boasts one of the most extensive lists of extra fees in the industry.
Earlier this month, Spirit raised the "passenger usage fee" from $8.99 for one-way domestic flights to $16.99. The fee for international flights dropped from $18.99 to $16.99.
The only way to avoid the fee is to buy a ticket at an airport counter. But as of Jan. 24, 2012, the airline will charge passengers $5 to print out a ticket at the airport counter.
The airline announced in August 2010 new fees to stow a bag in the on-board overhead compartment, in addition to charges to check luggage in the cargo area.
The carry-on fees range from $20 to $40, depending on whether passengers pay online or at the airport counter. The lowest luggage fee is charged to members of the airline's $9 fare club. But it costs about $60 a year to join.
A few months after announcing the carry-on fees, Spirit said it planned to install "pre-reclined" seats that do not adjust.
The airline says the new slim leather seats are 30% lighter, cutting down on fuel costs and offering 20% more space under the seat. By eliminating a steeper recline, the airline can also fit more seats into the plane.
-- Hugo Martin
Photo: Passengers speak with a Spirit Airlines worker at Detroit International Airport. Credit: Reuters