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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.

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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