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Spirit’s carry-on fees take effect

Associated Press / August 2, 2010

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NEW YORK — Spirit Airlines’ carry-on fees took effect yesterday, catching some by surprise. But the low-fare carrier says they will reduce delays.

“It looks like this is going to speed things up,’’ spokeswoman Misty Pinson said.

Samantha Robles, 22, awaiting a flight in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., called the new charges ridiculous. She said she would probably not fly on Spirit again.

Chief executive Ben Baldanza said Spirit has received complaints, mostly from people who don’t realize ticket prices have fallen. Spirit says it has cut fares overall. Spirit’s new fee, the first in the industry, is aimed at discouraging passengers from stuffing the overhead bins because it often takes extra time to get bags in place.

Spirit charges $30 at check-in for any bag too big to fit under a seat. The price goes up to $45 for passengers who wait until they get to the gate to pay. Members of Spirit’s special fare club pay $20 for a carry-on.

Pinson said that by speeding things up, Spirit hopes to be able to add to its 150 daily flights.