By Tiffany Hsu
10:21 AM PDT, May 3, 2012
Have an unexpected carry-on you need to bring on your flight? If you’re traveling with Spirit Airlines Inc., it’ll cost you $100.
On Thursday, visitors to company's website found that fees for baggage and other consumer services are going to jump on Nov. 6 -- nearly across the board.
Carry-on bag fees at the gate will cost travelers $100 -- more than double the $45 they pay now. Carry-ons noted during an online reservation will cost $35, up from $30. Bags paid for at the airport counter or kiosk will cost $50, a $10 increase.
“We don’t want any of our customers to wait until they get to the boarding gate to pay for their carry-on bags as this delays the boarding process for everyone,” said spokeswoman Misty Pinson in a statement. “We expect that our new $100 fee charged for those who wait until they get to the gate will ensure that customers purchase their bags before arriving at the gate.”
The new fees are uniform across domestic and international flights. The airline calls itself "the unbundling leader" because it takes fees normally included in ticket prices and charges them separately on a case-by-case basis.
Spirit considers itself a discount airline, advertising one-way fares from $19.80. It's also one of a few airlines that charge for the first carry-on bag.
Last year, the Florida-based company was fined $50,000 by the U.S. Transportation Department for advertising $9 fares without clearly disclosing the associated taxes and fees.
On Tuesday, Spirit reported its earnings for the first quarter, including a 197% spike in profit to $23.4 million, or 32 cents a share, from $7.9 million, or 30 cents a share in the year-earlier period.
The company said that it was continuing an effort to boost revenue from non-ticket sources, which rose 21.3% in the quarter to more than $50 per passenger on average. Meanwhile, average fares slipped 6.9% to $76.65.
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