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Spirit Airlines' Carry-on Bag Fee to Soar to $100 for Overhead Bin

Self-described "ultra-low-cost" Spirit Airlines is revamping its carry-on baggage fees, and one fee in particular is going sky-high.

Some Spirit passengers will face a $100 charge per carry-on bag, just in time for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday travel season.

Spirit's new carry-on fees take effect Nov. 6, according to the airline's online schedule of "optional fees." Spirit was the first U.S. air carrier to charge passengers for carry-on bags that get stowed in an airplane's overhead compartment, according to ABC News.

Spirit Airlines boasts "ultra low base fares," but tacks on fees for a wide range of "optional services" with prices that vary according to when a fee is paid.

Currently, Spirit's carry-on fee is $30 per bag -- if you pay for your carry-on at the same time you book your flight online, that is.

If you wait until you check-in online for your flight, the carry-on fee is $35 per bag. If you check-in at an airport counter or kiosk, the fee is $40 per bag. And if you pay at the gate, it's $45.

But starting Nov. 6, those fees are set to take off. Spirit's new fee schedule for carry-on bags will be:

  • $35 per bag, if the fee is paid during the online booking process;
  • $40 per bag, if the fee is paid during online check-in;
  • $50 per bag, if the fee is paid at an airport counter or kiosk; and
  • $100 per bag, if the fee is paid at the gate.

Spirit passengers may already know this, but it may be cheaper to check a bag, instead of carrying it on-board, when flying with the airline. The fee for a passenger's first checked bag is currently $2 less than Spirit's carry-on fees; beginning Nov. 6, it'll be $5 cheaper. (Fees for additional checked bags, however, are higher than the carry-on fee.)

To bypass Spirit's bag fees altogether, a passenger will have to pack lightly: Carry-ons that fit beneath the seat in front of you remain free, ABC News reports.

Only one other domestic airline, Allegiant Air, currently charges passengers for carry-on bags, according to ABC News. Allegiant's fee currently levels off at $35 per bag.

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