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New York - Spirit Airlines Raises Online Booking Fee

Published on: November 14, 2011 08:09 PM
By: AP
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New York -  Passengers on Spirit Airlines Inc. now face nearly $34 in fees just to buy their tickets online. The only way most customers can avoid the fee is to head to the airport and wait on line to see a ticket agent there.

The no-frills airline advertises base fares as low as $9 but then charges passengers for everything from placing a carry-on bag in the overhead bin to having a glass of water onboard. In January it plans to start charging $5 for each boarding pass a ticket agent prints.

“It’s one of the sneakiest fees in the industry,” said George Hobica, founder of Airfarewatchdog. He notes that Spirit lists the generic-sounding “passenger usage fee” along with the government-imposed taxes and fees. “It’s very disingenuous. It does look like some unavoidable fee.”

On Nov. 8 the Miramar-Fla. company increased the online fee for domestic passengers from $8.99 each way to $16.99, according to spokeswoman Misty Pinson. The international fee fell $2 each way to $16.99.

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The passenger usage fee is charged to anyone buying tickets online, which is the bulk of Spirit’s sales. The fee can be avoided by buying a ticket at the airport. It is also not charged on flights departing from Colombia or Panama.

The only other U.S. airline to charge such a fee is Allegiant Travel Company. Passengers there face a fee of $17 roundtrip to book a ticket online.

Spirit’s booking fee could be 40 percent or more of a ticket’s total price. For instance a $14 fare each way between Detroit and New York included $21.40 in federal taxes and security fees and the $33.98 usage fee.



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Read Comments (5)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Nov 14, 2011 at 09:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Well that's not in the right Spirit.

2

 Nov 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM flatbushmm Says:

why would any one EVER fly spirit, they are the worst airline possible. (and one of the more expensive one when u add all the rediculous fees (there are about 20 different fees)

3

 Nov 14, 2011 at 10:44 PM greatsouthbay Says:

Anyone want to buy my car for only $9?

Oh, yes, the engine and drive train will run you another $20,000.

4

 Nov 14, 2011 at 11:47 PM Darth_Zeidah Says:

Reply to #2  
flatbushmm Says:

why would any one EVER fly spirit, they are the worst airline possible. (and one of the more expensive one when u add all the rediculous fees (there are about 20 different fees)

So boycott Spirit Airlines. You live in north America, and there is no shortage of other carriers to get you from A to B without having to pay excessive extra charges.

BTW, the word is rIdiculous, and not rEdiculous!

5

 Nov 15, 2011 at 10:50 AM Reb Yid Says:

"a $14 fare each way between Detroit and New York included $21.40 in federal taxes and security fees and the $33.98 usage fee. "

So the breakdown is a bit bizarre, but all told, a $69.38 fare for that flight seems pretty reasonable. Of course, this is all done to make them look more competitive, so it's a shtickle false advertising, because they will advertise $9, not $69.38.

6

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