The good news? Spirit Airlines consistently has some of the lowest airfares in the country. The bad news? If you aren’t mindful before you travel, Spirit Airlines baggage fees can eat away at much of your savings.
Below, we’ll outline the Spirit baggage policy, not only including specific fees you can expect to pay as of March 2021, but the general logic of the how the carrier prices journeys. This way, you can avoid having your dream fare lead into a nightmare travel experience by setting realistic expectations before you arrive at the airport.
An overview of Spirit Airlines baggage fees
Spirit Airlines offers cheap flights to destinations in the United States and in the Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America and South America. By learning about Spirit Airlines checked bag fees before you book your flights, you ensure that you book the right ticket package for your journey and avoid any unnecessary additional fees.
Fast facts: Spirit Airlines baggage fees
- Spirit Airlines “bare fares” allow travelers to book flights with one personal item, which includes purses and laptop bags
- Spirit Airlines baggage fees apply to any additional or larger bags
- The Spirit Airlines checked bag fee for additional baggage relates to the size and weight of the bag in question, alongside any restrictions on your flight
- If you will be taking a carry-on or checked bag on your journey with Spirit Airlines, it’s best to add these when you book your flight
What are Spirit Airlines bare fares?
Booking flights with Spirit Airlines allows you to fly to destinations for a very low cost. The airline offers flights as an “unbundled bare fare.” What does this mean for travelers? Essentially, the cost of your plane ticket simply covers the carriage of your body (and clothing, don’t worry!) from one point to another. Everything else is subject to an additional charge, including most carry-on bags.
What are the size and weight limits for bags?
For the purposes of deciding Spirit Airlines baggage fees and classification of your luggage, there are four different types of bags for travelers:
- A personal item, which could be a purse, laptop case or small backpack, etc. Dimensions must not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm), including handles and wheels.
- A carry-on bag has maximum dimensions of 22 x 18 x 10 inches (56 x 46 x 25 cm), including handles and wheels.
- Checked bags are to be a maximum of 62 linear inches (length + width + height; 158 cm), including handles and wheels, and maximum of 40 pounds in weight (18.1 kg).
- Any bag that exceeds these dimensions or weight limit is considered an oversized/overweight bag and has a corresponding fee.
NOTE: Spirit does not accept bags that weigh more than 100 pounds (45 kg) or measure more than 80 linear inches (203 cm) in overall dimensions.
Read more: Size chart for carry-ons and checked baggage
Understanding Spirit Airlines baggage fees
One personal item is included in the price of your Spirit Airlines ticket. If you wish to travel with additional baggage there will be additional charges, including a Spirit carry-on fee. As of March 2021, the Spirit baggage policy is as follows:
|Price paid before travel||Price paid at airport|
NOTE: The price is lower if you pay for your bags at the time of booking, slightly higher before online check-in and much higher during online check-in. At the airport, you will need to pay more at the gate than at the check-in counter. Finally, if you are part of the Spirit Saver$ Club, you can save on fees for all baggage booked in advance.
Spirit Airlines baggage policy for irregular bags
Additionally, here are the prices for overweight and oversized bags on Spirit Airlines:
|Additional weight of bag||Price per bag|
|41 – 50 lbs. (18 – 23 kg)|
|51 – 70 lbs. (23 – 32 kg)||+ $55|
|71 – 100 lbs.||+ $100|
|63-80 linear inches (158-203 cm)||+ $100|
|Special items over 80 linear inches (203 cm)||+ $150|
Spirit Airlines sporting equipment fees
If you want to travel with sporting equipment on your next Spirit Airlines flight, you will need to pay additional fees as follows:
|Golf clubs||Same price as checked bags, overweight |
charges may apply
|Skis/snowboards||Same price as checked bags, overweight charges may apply|
TIP: Spirit’s baggage fees may also vary depending on the length of your flight, and when you’re flying. To help travelers calculate their expected baggage expenses, the Spirit Airlines website has a tool called the “Bag-O-Tron.” After you have selected your flight on Skyscanner, enter your departure and arrival airport, along with projected travel dates, and the tool can tell you the baggage fees that apply to your trip.
A final thought
Although the specific price of Spirit Airlines baggage fees is always changing, one thing has always remained true: The hidden “cost” of Spirit’s rock-bottom fares is what you pay to take bags. When flying on Spirit, you’ll need to pay for almost all bags. This not only includes the checked bags most airlines charge you for, but carry-on luggage besides small personal items like purses or laptops.
Keep in mind that no matter how much baggage you bring on your Spirit flight, it’s always cheaper to book in advance of travel. Once you search flights on Skyscanner and find a Spirit journey that’s right for, book baggage right away to save.
FAQ about Spirit Airlines baggage fees
The Spirit baggage policy is complex and subject to change. However, regardless of how much you pay when you end up traveling, the fee will always be cheaper if you pay it at the time of booking than at the airport. For example, while your first checked bag costs $37 when purchased during the reservation process as of March 2021, you’ll need to pay $50 at the airport and $65 at the gate.
While the Spirit checked bag fee has generally increased over time, the rationale of the airline has not changed: Your fare is merely the cost to transport your body from one point to another; everything else is extra. You’ll need to pay extra for checked luagge and also carry-on bags beyond small personal items, like purses or laptop bags.
The Spirit carry-on fee applies to any bag you need to put into the overhead bin. While Spirit Airlines technically limits each passenger to one personal item, it is conceivable that you could bring two very small items onboard. For example, if you have a purse, but you also need to bring a small bag that contains snacks or toys for your infant or young child. When in doubt, contact Spirit’s customer service department before travel to avoid surprise and disappointment at the airport.
Generally speaking, Spirit Airlines baggage fees for carry-ons apply to bags you need to place in the overhead bins. If your personal item can fit under the seat in front of you without spilling into the aisle or the area beneath your feet, you will not need to pay a fee to bring it on board. However, if you attempt to carry on a conspicuously large bag without having paid for it, you will likely be stopped during the boarding process.
Where can I go right now?
As vaccination campaigns help to curb the spread of COVID-19 around the globe, countries are slowly but surely re-opening. Check out Skyscanner’s interactive travel restrictions map to see where you can go right now.
Want to read more?
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