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Spirit Airlines adds fee for carry-on bags

April 6, 2010 | 11:46 am

  Airline luggageSpirit Airlines, the low-cost carrier based in Florida, announced Tuesday that it will charge passengers up to $45 for each piece of carry-on luggage.

The move is a departure from other airlines that have added or increased fees to check luggage into the cargo bay. Most airlines have added such fees in the last two years to help make up  for declining demand.

Airline watchdog groups wonder if the move by Spirit will prompt other airlines to do the same.

"The real question is will other airlines follow, and will this actually be good for air travel?" said George Hobica, president of, an airfare comparison, alert and listing site.

Spirit, which flies to the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and Central and Latin America, offers a daily flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Florida. The airline introduced the new fee while announcing new lower fares and bag fees for the airlines' "$9 Fare Club" members.

Carry-on bags that fit in the overhead bin will cost passengers $45, $30 if travelers pay online. Members of the Fare Club pay $20 for each carry-on bag.

There is no charge for carry-on items that fit under the seat. The new carry-on bag fee is effective for reservations made after April 5 for travel on and after Aug. 1.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: A passenger rolls luggage through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Credit: Bloomberg News