Pack Light, Pay Less

Tracy Stewart, August 24, 2011
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. I can't get over all the fees on Spirit Airlines. These taxes and fees are already half of my fare. They even charge you for a carryon! How can a checked bag cost less then a carryon? Is there any way to get around paying for carry ons? And what exactly constitutes a "passenger facility fee?"

    A. Well, because Spirit only charges for bags that go in the overhead and allows for a free personal item, one strategy is to pack a bag small enough to cram under the seat in front of you; which of course doesn't work for everyone. Spirit might be charging more for carryons than checked bags because they want to load and unload planes faster. A plane load of passengers struggling to find overhead space can contribute to delays. As for the passenger facility fee, that's actually imposed by the airport each time the plane does a take off/landing.