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As with many budget airlines, bags are not included when flying with Spirit Airlines in 2021. This includes both carry-ons and checked bags. If you would like to bring bags with you on your trip (and who travels without some form of luggage?) it will cost you.
Therefore customers flying with Spirit Airlines will need to factor in the cost of their luggage to get a full view of the flight’s price tag.
On top of that, the closer you get to your flight’s departure, the more it will cost to add luggage. So planning ahead can save you money.
Here is everything you’ll want to know from size allowances to baggage fees and more, for this budget airline.
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In this post you'll learn:
Spirit Airlines Carry-On Rules
Spirit Airlines gives their customers one free personal item per flight but — unlike many other major airlines — charges for standard carry-ons.
A personal item like a laptop, small backpack, or purse must not exceed the dimensions of:
- 18” x 14” x 8” or 40 linear inches (height + length + width)
While carry-ons must not exceed the dimensions of:
- 22” x 18” x 10”
Exactly how much passengers are required to pay per carry-on depends on a few factors. These factors include date, flight route, and booking type. Use the Spirit Bag-O-Tron to figure out your exact carry-on fee. Alternatively, if you’d just the approximate averages, below is our table of what you can generally expect for carry-ons. We obtained these approximate values based on over two dozen searches.
|Time bag added to booking||Standard||$9 Fare Club|
|Before Online Check-In||$50||$41|
|During Online Check-In||$50||$41|
|At the Gate||$65||$65|
Remember that these are only typical prices and your fees could be different. The price of a carry-on bag for a standard passenger ranges from $37 – 76 and for a $9 Fare Club passenger from $23 – 76. The sooner you add a bag to your reservation, the more money you’ll save.
Becoming a member of the Spirit $9 Fare Club (called the $9 Fare Club not because it costs $9 to join but because a 60-day trial membership used to cost $9) is also a great way to save on baggage fees. This club offers its members discounted prices and exclusive deals, and it costs $59.95 to join in 2021 and $69.95 to renew annually.
Spirit Airlines Checked Baggage Rules
Checked bags through Spirit Airlines may be a maximum size of 62 linear inches and a maximum weight of 40 pounds. Frequent flyers know that this weight restriction is slightly low when compared to that of other airlines, but that a 62-inch total length is fairly standard. Keep this in mind when flying Spirit.
Like carry-ons, checked bags are charged differently for standard passengers and $9 Fare Club members and prices also vary based on booking. This price breakdown shows what most people will pay per checked bag.
|3 – 5||$85||$76|
|Before Online Check-In||1||$45||$36|
|3 – 5||$95||$86|
|During Online Check-In||1||$45||$36|
|3 – 5||$95||$86|
|3 – 5||$105||$105|
|At the Gate||1 (only)||$65||$65|
You’ll notice that all passengers checking bags at the gate are only allowed one piece of checked luggage. Checked baggage fees are also dependent on route and travel dates, but fluctuate less than the prices for carry-ons. The Bag-O-Tron will be a useful tool when calculating checked baggage fees, as well.
There are certain flight restrictions you’ll need to know about if you plan to either fly to or from South America at any point during the year or internationally between December 1st and January 10th. If either of these applies to you, see the list of special restrictions for such flights at the bottom of this page.
Spirit Airlines Excess Baggage Fees
A passenger may not bring a bag measuring more than 80 linear inches and/or weighing more than 100 pounds aboard a Spirit flight (unless under special circumstances), but bags under these limits and over the standard dimensions are allowed to be checked. Passengers will just have to understand that oversize and overweight checked baggage is charged an additional fee.
Spirit Airlines Oversize and Overweight Fees
|41 – 50 pounds||$30|
|51 – 70 pounds||$55|
|71 – 100 pounds||$100|
|63 – 80 linear inches||$100|
|80 + linear inches||$150|
Examples of items that may count as checked bags or carry-on luggage but that could incur oversize/overweight fees include:
- Musical instruments
- Sports equipment
- Wedding dresses
- Art Supplies
Mobile and medical assistive devices such as wheelchairs, walkers, and canes can be checked free of charge at the gate. For a complete list of restriction exceptions, read the Spirit Contract of Carriage. Note that any oversize/overweight equipment not packed securely with the rest of your baggage will be charged separate fees. That means you should do your best to pack bulky items like hockey sticks safely within your bags.
Flying families will want to know that guests are allowed one FAA-approved car seat and one stroller aboard their flight for no additional charge. If these do not fit on board, they will have to be checked at the gate (again, this is free to you). See this list of seat dimensions for various types of Spirit aircraft if you would like to ensure that your child’s car seat will fit on your plane, in their designated seat.
Get Your Baggage Fees Reimbursed
No matter what baggage fees you are charged for a Spirit flight, you can get reimbursed for these if you’ve got the right credit card. Credit cards that reimburse travel fees include:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: $200 annual reimbursement
- American Express® Gold Card: $100
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card: $200
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: $300
- Citi Prestige: $250
Get 1 Free Checked Bag Through Spirit
Unless you are in the military, there is no way to get free checked bags through Spirit Airlines. Even Spirit Airlines Mastercard holders and members of the $9 Fare Club are charged for every carry-on and checked bag. Spirit’s Bare Fare guarantee is what keeps flights ultra low-cost, but it’s also what makes obtaining baggage waivers and additional discounts difficult.
The only free allowance on a Spirit flight is a personal item and unless your baggage includes medical devices or strollers, you will be charged baggage fees. You’ll have to find other ways to save on flights through Spirit Airlines, like joining the $9 Fare Club and adding bags to your reservation right away.
Spirit Airlines Baggage Fee Exceptions
As mentioned, active-duty military personnel are the only passengers that qualify for free checked bags. These individuals are allowed two free checked bags and one free carry-on, so long as they present valid identification.
Knowing Spirit Airlines Baggage Policies
Spirit Airlines is a company already known for offering affordable flying rates, but you can save yourself even more money by learning about their baggage policies. By knowing what counts as oversize or overweight bags and taking advantage of opportunities to check your bags for less, you can keep more of your cash for spending wherever you go rather than on how you get there.
About the Author:
Lauren is a writer and editor specializing in personal finance and education. She works for the digital publishing company, Dotdash, as a content update editor and writes for APYGUY and SavingforCollege when she's not writing for FlyerGeek.