Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees: Avoid Hidden Fees and Save Money

Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees: Avoid Hidden Fees and Save Money

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Spirit Airlines is a budget carrier that provides passengers with the bare necessities for getting from point A to point B. Passengers should be most careful with these airlines, because they charge a ton of fees for extras such as carry-on luggage and snacks. We've organized this comprehensive guide on Spirit Airlines baggage fees so you can maximize savings and know what to expect.

Spirit carry-on policy

All Spirit passengers may bring one personal item on flights at no extra charge. These may include small backpacks, laptop bags or purses. The maximum size is 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches. If your personal item exceeds these dimensions, you will need to pay additional fees to bring it along.

The following items don't count toward the carry-on allowance and will not incur an extra charge:

  • Camera
  • Necessary prosthetic devices (for example, crutches and canes)
  • Guest assistive devices
  • Food to eat on the plane
  • Infant diaper bag
  • Infant or child car seats when a child is carried in the seat
  • Outer garments such as coats, hats and wraps
  • Reading material on flight
  • Strollers and car seats
  • Umbrella
  • Wheelchairs

If you would like to bring a full-sized carry-on bag onto the flight with you, you will need to pay for it separately. Your carry-on can measure up to 22 inches by 18 inches by 10 inches and must fit in the overhead bin. The fee for bringing along a full-size carry-on bag varies depending on the route, how soon you pay for the carry-on and promotions like the $9 Fare Club™. All baggage fees tend to increase the later you purchase, so you'll save money if you book your bags at the same time you book your flight.

Spirit checked bag pricing

Checked bags aren’t included with tickets when it comes to Spirit Airlines. Instead, you will need to pay a separate fee that varies depending on the route, the number of checked bags and any rewards or loyalty programs.

The table below includes prices for carry-on and checked bags for different routes and circumstances to give you a sense of what to expect, as determined by Spirit's baggage fee calculator.

Spirit checked bag pricing
Values were found on Oct. 6, 2020, using a departure date of Oct. 19, 2020

When using Spirit's baggage fee calculator for different routes, you'll see prices for various points of the booking and boarding process. Baggage prices increase the longer you wait to purchase them, so you should try to purchase your necessary baggage allowances as close to booking as possible.

The $9 Fare Club™ prices, which are discounted, are listed in the highlighted columns. You can join the club by paying a fee of $59.95 for the first year and an annual renewal fee of $69.95 thereafter. Through this club, individuals receive discounted rates on baggage as shown on the table. If you're wondering whether joining the club is worth it, check out our overview of Spirit's loyalty and rewards programs.

Spirit checked bag pricing
Values were found on Oct. 6, 2020, using a departure date of Oct. 19, 2020

Notice that the flights from New York City to Cartagena, Colombia, and Guatemala City, Guatemala, are both international flights, but they have different baggage prices. It's helpful to use the baggage fee calculator to check the prices for your specific route and flight, because of situations like these.

Spirit checked bag pricing
Values were found on Oct. 6, 2020, using a departure date of Oct. 19, 2020

The above prices for Newark, N.J. to San Juan, Puerto Rico, seem to be fairly consistent across all domestic flights between states and U.S. territories. But there may be exceptions, so use the calculator when you're not sure for the most accurate information.

Spirit checked bag pricing
Values were found on Oct. 6, 2020, using a departure date of Oct. 19, 2020

Domestic flights from one state to another are consistent among flight prices. Using the calculator, we struggled to find a route between two states where the prices differed by much. You should still use the calculator to determine actual prices, but the table above can serve as a good baseline estimate.

Spirit Airlines discounted baggage

The Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card's offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or are no longer available.

Although the Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card provides a variety of airline benefits to cardholders, reduced baggage fees are not included. Individuals will need to pay the full amount for baggage fees, regardless of whether they have the card. Being a Free Spirit™ rewards member — Somebody, Elite or VIP level — also doesn't necessarily mean you'll save on baggage; you're only guaranteed exclusive flight deals.

Spirit Airlines discounted baggage
The only way to save on Spirit Airlines baggage fees is through the $9 Fare Club, as evident from the baggage fee tables above. You save $9 on every baggage charge, and the discounts apply to you and up to eight additional passengers on your reservation. However, the benefits of the $9 Fare Club are only worth it if you frequently board Spirit Airlines or fly in group reservations, as you can maximize value in these scenarios. Otherwise, the fees associated with the club are greater than the prices of some Spirit flights and ultimately not worth the investment. Read our overview of Spirit's rewards programs to find out more.

Spirit Airlines excess baggage fees

Spirit, like all other airlines, charges if your baggage doesn't meet its weight, size and quantity regulations. Your bags can weigh up to 40 pounds and measure up to 62 total linear inches. When calculating over-the-limit baggage fees, Spirit keeps the extra charges constant across all routes, both international and domestic. These fees are applied on top of the base rate of the baggage.

Overweight or oversized baggage fees

  • 41-50 pounds: $30 per bag
  • 51-70 pounds: $55 per bag
  • 71-100 pounds: $100 per bag
  • 63-80 linear inches: $100 per bag
  • Special items over 80 linear inches: $150 per bag

How to avoid baggage fees on Spirit

  • Only bring a personal item, which can be 18 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches (about the size of a small backpack).
  • Pay for bags while purchasing flight online for savings of $10 per bag or before you get to the airport to avoid any same-day surcharges.
  • Join Spirit’s $9 Fare Club to get discounts on bags — applicable for you and up to eight passengers on your reservation.
  • U.S. active duty military can check two bags and bring one carry-on for free.

Generally, you can have a maximum of five checked bags depending on the amount of available space, and the maximum overweight limit is 100 pounds. There are a few exceptions given the route and date.

From Dec. 1 to Jan. 10, you are allowed one checked item per person, and any additional checked items may be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis. Additionally, the maximum overweight limit for international flights is 70 pounds instead of 100 pounds. Bags will be subject to oversized baggage charges if it exceeds 63 linear inches, and anything over 80 linear inches is not allowed.

For any flights to Lima, Peru, guests may only check one bag. Instead, the maximum overweight limit of your bag may not exceed 50 pounds and will start to incur overweight baggage fees at 41 pounds. The same general oversized baggage restrictions apply, and the items that are exempt from this rule include sporting equipment.

Spirit Airlines military baggage policy

U.S. active duty military are exempt from Spirit’s baggage policy and can bring two checked bags and a carry-on for free. U.S. active duty military members can verify your active-duty status on Spirit’s website at checkout. Keep in mind that this benefit only applies to the U.S. military member and not to family or loved ones.

Spirit Airlines: Delayed, damaged or lost baggage help

The last thing anyone wants is for their baggage to be delayed, damaged or lost, but this can happen to anyone. Spirit has a comprehensive policy to help passengers resolve an array of baggage issues.

My luggage didn't arrive at my destination with me. What's my first step?

The first step is to immediately file a report at the Spirit baggage service office or online, which initiates a search for the mishandled piece(s). If a bag or item is delayed, lost, damaged or pilfered, you must notify a Spirit representative within four hours of flight arrival for domestic flights, and within 21 days of arrival for international flights. Spirit will handle the rest by locating and returning your baggage as quickly as possible.

I'm missing my baggage and filed a delayed baggage report. What now?

After you file a delayed baggage report — which can be done in the baggage claim area or with a guest service agent — Spirit will attempt to locate and deliver your delayed baggage. In the interim, Spirit advises that you purchase reasonably priced items such as toiletries and clothing and hold on to these receipts to accompany your claim.

You can reach the Luggage Resolution Department at 1-877-888-5926, extension 7004. (This phone number has been copied from Spirit's contract of carriage and is accurate as of Oct. 6, 2020.) Alternatively, you can mail in your documents to:

Spirit Airlines
ATTN: Luggage Resolution Department
2800 Executive Parkway
Miramar, FL 33025

It's been more than five days and my baggage still hasn't been located. What should I do?

If your baggage has not been located and returned within five days of your flight arrival, you should file a claim with the Luggage Resolution Department. You will need to complete a customer property form, which is different from the delayed baggage report you should have initially filed at the airport. After completing the form, the department will try to help you retrieve your missing baggage.

Spirit Airlines animal policy

Spirit passengers are allowed to bring accompanying, service, emotional support or psychiatric service animals with them in the cabin. You must complete several forms here at least 48 hours before your flight to move along the approval process. However, the passenger then assumes complete responsibility for any loss, damage, delay, expense or legal liability related to the transportation of the animal.

Conditions for pet transportation

  • The animal must be harmless and inoffensive, requiring no attention.
  • The container can measure up to 18 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches.
  • The combined weight of the pet and carrier cannot exceed 40 pounds.
  • The pet must remain in the carrier at all times.
  • There is a service charge for each pet carrier and counts toward carry-on allowance.

On domestic flights, Spirit allows for domesticated dogs, cats, and in some cases rabbits and small household birds (e.g., parrots, finches, canaries and parakeets) to be in the cabin for an extra charge. Passengers are responsible for making sure the pet abides by the specific regulations of their destination, including valid health certificates if needed. To add a pet to your reservation, contact 1-855-728-3555, text 48763 or use 801-401-2222 on WhatsApp.

Passengers cannot bring pets on international flights unless the pet is a service animal. In this case, the passenger may bring the animal as long as it's permitted by the international destination and its regulations.

What size bag can you carry on Spirit Airlines for free?

Spirit allows passengers to bring a personal item to the cabin free of charge. This item can measure up to 18 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches, and it should fit under the seat in front of you. If you want to bring a full-sized carry-on, it will cost extra.

How much are Spirit Airlines baggage fees?

The price varies depending on route, quantity, timing before departure, promotion and rewards programs. The best way to estimate your baggage costs is by using Spirit's baggage fee calculator.

Does Spirit allow checked bags?

Yes. Checked bags are not included with normal ticket purchases, so you will need to pay a separate fee to check a bag on Spirit. This fee varies on route, loyalty status and other promotions; the lowest fee available without any promotions is $32.

How do I add bags to my Spirit reservation?

The earlier you buy your bags, the less they will cost. If you're purchasing bags more than 24 hours before departure, you can add bags on Spirit's website at the "My Trips" tab. If you're purchasing bags fewer than 24 hours before departure, go to the "Online Check-in" tab instead and purchase bags there; this will cost more than had you purchased the bags earlier. You can also add bags at the airport, but this will be the most expensive option since the process requires an agent and slows down check-in.

ValuePenguin’s verdict

Spirit Airlines has one of the simplest baggage policies available. The fares are consistent across a number of destinations, often only varying by a couple of dollars between domestic and international travel. However, Spirit does not give any complimentary services. You'll pay for many of the features you may take for granted at other commercial airlines, so it's important to understand the various fees and policies before you reach the airport.

The information related to Spirit Airlines World MasterCard® Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).