A $100 bag fee will be charged to Spirit Airlines passengers who wait until they’re at the boarding gate to declare their carry-on items, according to Travelers Today. The fees are reportedly part of a tiered system; the longer you wait to declare your carry-on bags, the more money you’re going to pay in the long run. If you want to avoid fees, it’s best to figure out what you’re bringing on-board beforehand.
Here’s how it works: Spirit Airlines customers who are members of the company’s Fare Club are only charged a $25 bag fee for declaring their carry-on items. Folks who choose to check their carry-ons online are charged $35, while those who prefer to use an old-fashioned telephone are hit with a $40 bag fee. If you declare your carry-ons at the ticket counter, Spirit will force you to cough up $50. Checking your carry-on items at the boarding gate, meanwhile, will smack you with the full $100 bag fee.
Starting November 6, passengers who wait until the last second to get their affairs in order will be hit with the penalty. However, according to Spirit’s Chief Operating Officer Tony Lefebvre, the ultimate goal is to prevent anyone from having to pay the $100 bag fee.
“Spirit offers our customers multiple opportunities to avoid this unnecessary fee and save money,” Lefebvre explained to NBC News. “By planning ahead and paying for bags before getting to the boarding gate, our customers are saving time at the airport and speeding up the boarding process. When our customers choose these time-saving, self-service options, our costs go down, and we can pass those savings along to our customers.”
Of course, the best way to save money when traveling Spirit Airlines is to check luggage instead of carry-on bags. Prices for luggage start at $20 and quickly work their way up. However, if you decide to declare your luggage at the boarding gate, you’ll get hit with the $100 bag fee as well.