Florida-based Spirit Airline has come under harsh criticism in the last month for its penny-pinching ways, but the carrier continues to expand its network and post sizable profits.
Passenger rights groups cried foul last week when Spirit announced that starting Nov. 6 the cost to bring a carry-on bag on a flight will be $100 when paid at the gate — more than double the current $45 fee. Spirit also raised the fees for passengers who pay for carry-on bags online or at airport kiosks.
“We expect that our new $100 fee charged for those who wait until they get to the gate will ensure that customers purchase their bags before arriving at the gate,” spokeswoman Misty Pinson said in a statement.
Spirit also took some heat last month when the airline rejected a request for a ticket refund from a Vietnam veteran in Florida who said he bought a ticket to visit his daughter before learning that terminal cancer had made him too weak to fly. After days of criticism, Spirit’s chief executive, Ben Baldanza, said last week he would personally refund the ticket and make a donation to a charity for wounded veterans.