Perhaps upset that its decision to begin charging fees for carry-on bags was not enough to make into this year’s Worst Company In America bracket, the fee-happy folks at Spirit Airlines have begun making their case for next year by adding a surcharge for passengers who wait until 24 hours before departure to pay the airline’s base fees for checked and carry-on bags.
Calling its previous bag fees an “Early Bird Discount,” the airline will now charge travelers who pay for checked or carry-on bags within 24 hours of departure online an extra $5 and an extra $10 for travelers who pay over the phone.
“With this updated policy, fees remain the same for customers who pre-purchase their bags at least 24 hours in advance via spirit.com or through reservations,” said a Spirit rep by e-mail, probably because she couldn’t keep a straight face if she tried to say that in person. “We are continuing to pass savings along to our customers who choose self-service options vs. waiting until they get to the airport to conduct their transactions.”
Spirit recently lowered the weight at which it deems a piece of checked luggage as overweight (and thus deserving of a surcharge) from 50 lbs to 40 lbs. That means that a 45 lb bag now costs travelers $25 than it did before. If it goes over 50 lbs, that fee could range anywhere from $50 to $100.