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Spirit Airlines raises carry-on baggage fees up to $100 per item

A Spirit Airlines A319.

A Spirit Airlines A319. (Credit: Handout)

Spirit Airlines' new baggage fees for carry-ons have begun, just in time for holiday travel.

The first domestic airline to charge for carry-ons is, as of Nov. 6, tacking on a fee up to $100 for bags that go into the overhead bins. When purchased in advance online, the fee is $35 prior to check-in, up from $30. Wait until you get to the airport and the charge is $50, a $10 increase; at the gate, unprepared folks pay $100, a substantial bump of $55 over the pre-Nov. 6 charge. Items you can fit under a seat -- purses, briefcases, etc. -- remain free.

The fees are the same whether passengers are flying domestically or internationally on Spirit, which services North and South America.

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Allegiant Airlines is currently the only other domestic carrier that charges for carry-on luggage.

Whether or not the trend will be followed by additional airlines remains to be seen. But the moral of the story is a familiar one: Consumers have to be as diligent as ever when booking flights.

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