Now airlines are charging for what? Yes, Spirit Airlines is charging for CARRY-ON luggage. It is news that is rocking the travel industry and poor Spirit Airlines is shielding itself from hurled tomatoes and huffing customers taking their business elsewhere. The small discount airline, which flies to 40 destinations, mainly out of Miami to the Caribbean, South America, Central America and parts of the U.S., is charging $45 for bin space above seats but not for bags which fit under the seat. Spirit says that, by charging for luggage but not personal items which fit under the seat, the airline can continue to offer lower ticket fares and checked baggage (which currently cost $19 for the first bag if you purchase online, or $25 at the airport, and $25 for the second bag regardless if you buy online or at the airport). It also argues that by checking your bags, there will be fewer people trying to cram their suitcases into the overhead bins, which causes long lines, delays, and grumpy passengers. Hence, by its philosophy, encouraging passengers to check bags for less makes happier people and on-time arrivals.
In response, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, United and US Airways have all pledged not to charge passengers for carry-on. But while the airlines pat themselves on the back for extending this generous offer to its customers, be aware that you’ll probably end up paying those fees regardless – in the form of higher priced tickets.
In Europe, budget airlines like RyanAir only allow one carry-on item, and it must be under 10 kilos, or you have to check it and pay the checked baggage fee anyway. Spirit Airlines is merely adopting what its foreign counterparts have been practicing all along, except $45 is a heftier sum than what its passengers may have expected. But when you were once used to seeing flights from New York to Chicago for $200 may start at $250… so your carry-on baggage has been paid for already.