Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees & How To Avoid Paying Them!

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Customers need to be careful about how charges like baggage fees add up on budget airlines like Spirit.

Spirit Airlines does not include any bags in their base allowance (Bare Fare), not even carry-ons. Additionally, baggage prices increase the closer you get to take-off.  This means your best bet is to buy your allowance during your initial booking.

Another consideration: Spirit’s baggage policy states the max checked bag weight allowed is 40lbs.  This is 10lbs less than the standard average and you’d better believe you’ll be paying extra for that difference.

Spirit Airlines Carry-On Allowance

1 personal item: FREE with Bare Fare
Standard carry-on bag (fees are route dependent): 
During Booking:

  • $9 fare club – $26-$31
  • Standard – $35-$40

Before & During Online Check-In:

  • $9 fare club – $36-$41
  • Standard – $45-$50

Airport Reservation Desk: $55

At Gate: $65

Size Restrictions

  • Personal: 18″ x 14″ x 8″
  • Standard: 22″ x 18″ x10″

Lap Infant Carry-On Policy

  • Breast pumps and baby formula are allowed to be carried onto an aircraft and don’t count against your carry-on allowance.

Stroller Check Policy

  • Spirit airlines will check a stroller or double stroller at the ticket counter or gate. The stroller will be waiting for you when you exit the aircraft.
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Spirit Airlines Checked Baggage Allowance

All checked bags must adhere to a max weight of 40lbs and must adhere to max linear dimensions of 62 inches.

Spirit Airlines considers a number of items in their fee calculations, including: route, dates of travel, and $9 fare club or Standard fare.  The following table displays general fees for MOST* routes.

For the most personal/ accurate baggage fee calculations, please use Spirit’s online baggage calculator tool here.

Checked Bag (fees are route dependent)During Spirit.com
Booking
Before Online
Check-In
During Online
Check-In
Airport,
Group Desk,
Res Center
At Gate
$9 Fare
Club
Std$9 Fare
Club
Std$9 Fare
Club
Std
1st Bag$21-$26$30-$35$31-$36$40-$45$31-$36$40-$45$50$65
2nd Bag$31-$36$40-$45$41-$46$50-$55$41-$46$50-$54$60n/a
3rd-5th Bags$76$85$86$95$86$95$100n/a

*Some routes may limit the number of checked bags allowed (please refer to online baggage calculator tool).

Additional / Excess Baggage Fees:

Overweight Fee
41 – 50lb: $30
51 – 70lb: $55
71 – 100lb: $100

Oversized Fee
63 – 80 linear inches: $100
Special items over 80 linear inches: $150

For baggage fees related to special luggage (sporting equipment, musical instruments, etc.) please refer to Spirit Airlines’ policy here.

Can I Pre-pay for Baggage?

Spirit Airlines does allow passengers the ability to pre-pay for luggage online, via the mobile app or by contacting their call center.

Here are the ways you can pre-pay:

  • Log in to your reservation via the ‘My Trips’ tab on the Spirit website and click ‘Add bags’. This can be done more than 24 hours before departure. For less than 24 hours before departure, use the ‘Online check-in’ tab.
  • Download and log in to the Spirit Airlines app.
  • Contact the Spirit Airlines call center on 801-401-2222

Avoid Paying Baggage Fees by Using These Credit Cards

Spirit is notorious for fees, but you can use points & miles to pay for your checked bag and carry-on fees (instead of cash!)

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Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This no annual fee card comes with a 20,000 mile welcome bonus (worth $200) once you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. When you use your card for travel purchases (e.g. baggage fees), use your miles to pay off all, or part of, your statement! This is why we like this card.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - The "big brother" card to the VentureOne® with a larger 50,000 welcome bonus (worth $500), when you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months, and you'll earn 10X miles per $1 spent across thousands of hotels.

Exclusions & Waivers

For active duty military, Spirit will provide two free checked bags and a free carry-on, in addition to the already free personal item.


To see more airline baggage fees and policies, click here.

FAQ

What does Spirit charge for carry on?

Spirit allows passengers to bring 1 personal item for free but they charge for standard carry-on. During booking, if you’re part of Spirit’s $9 Fare Club then a carry-on bag costs $26-$31 and non-members $35-$40. Before or during online check-in, $9 Fare Club members will pay $36-$41 and non-members $45-$50. At the reservation desk, all passengers will pay $55 and at the gate $65.

Can I take a backpack on Spirit Airlines for free?

You could take a backpack on Spirit Airlines for free as your personal item, provided the measurements of the backpack do not exceed 18″ x 14″ x 8″. If it is larger than these measurements then you would incur a fee for standard carry-on with a maximum size allowance of 22″ x 18″ x10″.

What does Spirit charge for bags?

For most routes, Spirit’s checked baggage fees vary depending on whether you’re a $9 Fare Club member and when/where you add your baggage. During booking its $21-$26 for members, $30-$35 for non-members, before and during online check-on its $31-$36 for members, $40-$45 for non-members, at the reservation desk its $50 and at the gate $60. 2nd – 5th bag charges increase in price. See our table above.

Does Spirit Airlines give military free baggage?

Spirit Airlines will provide active duty military with two checked bags and a carry-on piece for free in addition to the already free personal item.

How much is overweight baggage on Spirit?

For overweight baggage, Spirit charges $30 for bags weighing 41 – 50lb, $55 for bags weighing 51 – 70lb and $100 for bags weighing 71 – 100lb. If your bags are oversized (63 – 80 inches) then you will be charged $100 and for special items over 80 inches the fee is $150.

Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

Erin currently maintains her status as Alex's adventure-seeking partner-in-crime and contributes to Upgraded Points through content creation & relationship management.
She caught the travel bug just after high school when her grandmother took her on a two-week, whirlwind trip around Europe. That was that - she's been gallivanting around the globe ever since (22 countries & counting)!

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67 comments

  1. Amanda wallace · April 10, 2018 · Reply

    I’m confused about the credit card reimbersment ? If I use my card are they going to charge extra on it when I go online to check my bag?

    • Nope, what happens is you pay for the bags and then your credit card company will reimburse the fee. The “how” depends on your specific credit card, e.g. it might be a statement credit or you might be able to use points to offset that cost when your statement is ready to be paid.

  2. Felisa Kershaw · May 27, 2018 · Reply

    What do I have to do to check my luggage online? How much is it check in luggage? This will be my first time flying with spirit in July. I don’t want to be embarrassed at check in. What is the total cost for my luggage the whole trip? I will not have a carry on bag just my purse. This flight is so stressful!!! For example delta cost is $25 leaving out and $25 coming back. I hope that you can answer my question. Hopefully you can make this a joyful weekend for me and my 3 sister’s. Thanks in advance

    • Hi Felisa – First of all, let me be clear that we are not Spirit Airlines. We are Upgraded Points, an online website that provides articles on a variety of topics related to earning points and miles. I understand you are having some issues figuring out your baggage costs for a Spirit flight. We completely understand baggage fees can be confusing which is why we attempt to outline things in our articles here. However, airlines don’t have the clearest policies to begin with so that can make summarizing them really tough. To figure out your fees, what I would recommend is to use Spirit Airlines Baggage Fee Calculator on Spirit Airlines official website. Since we are not Spirit Airlines, we cannot give you the specific answer you are looking for. This official calculator should provide the most accurate information. You can find it here: https://www.spirit.com/OptionalServices. You will need your flight dates as well as your airport locations. This will give you a range of prices that will depend on when you actually purchase your luggage allowance. Yes, it’s confusing and yes, it’s one of the reasons Spirit Airlines customers complain a lot! Hope this helps…

  3. Alexia Renee · July 14, 2018 · Reply

    Can I pay for the luggage at the airport ? If so how much is it ?

  4. Daniel Rodríguez · August 12, 2018 · Reply

    The worst airlines are always late and they charge you for everything. Dont waste your time and money. Dont be cheap, at the end it will cost you more! Use others airlines like jetblue, american, etc…

  5. I’m flying to the Caribbean at the end of the month and i could only find 1 flight with spirit. Its actually 6 planes that i have to get on to get there and back. And they are charging us for baggage on each flight. It totals our to 553$! I will NEVER fly spirit airlines again.

    You do get one free carryon though… the size of a purse or smaller

    • It just happened here yesterday, they charged me $65 for the smallest bag I bought, I paid for 3 bags for each flight… This is insane! I will never fly Spirit Airlines again!

  6. Felicia Ann Hutson · August 29, 2018 · Reply

    Wow, I’ve never been on a plane befor and to be ready to get on this plane really makes me not to want to fly any more. Im hope my flight goes well in October.

    • Ivette Harris · August 2, 2019 · Reply

      I am a little confused on the baggage fees I am traveling to San Juan in September and have a small carry on but by the other reviews say a carry-on for spirit airlines is a purse or smaller? Is that correct?

      • Hi Ivette,

        The only baggage included with the base fare on Spirit Airlines is a personal item (like a purse), no baggage is included in their base allowance, not even carry-ons. In order to bring a carry-on, you will need to pay extra to do so.

    • Juana manzueta · August 14, 2019 · Reply

      This is the worst airline I have seen. They made me lose my flight and they still charged me for the bags. Then they gave me my bags back but never gave me my money back. They’re the worst airline ever so I have to put this on worldwide media so people will know. I will never fly again with this airline. They are the worst that I have ever seen and I hope they go out of business.

  7. Valerie · October 1, 2018 · Reply

    I flew spirit this past weekend. I only had a bookbag carry on. they were fine with it when I flew to Myrtle Beach but on my return flight they made me pay $55.00 to take it on the plane and it was the same bag!!!. Never again!!!!! what a scam they have!

  8. I Guarantee I Will Never Use Spirit Airlines Again.
    I have four flights and three of the four flights are with Spirit.
    I will not make this mistake again. I hope everyone does the same and let them check their bags on their way out of business. Poor excuse for customer service.

  9. Stefanie Lange · January 4, 2019 · Reply

    I read awhile back that Spirit airlines was changing the weight limit from 40 to 50 lbs. Us that not true?

    • Stephen Au · January 6, 2019 · Reply

      Hey Stefanie,

      At this point in time, the maximum weight of luggage is still up to 40 pounds (18.1 kg). You can find this information on Spirit’s website:
      https://customersupport.spirit.com/hc/en-us/articles/202096476-What-are-the-size-and-weight-limits-for-bags-

      Thanks for reading and your support!

    • Luz e Ramos · August 2, 2019 · Reply

      I’ve been a Southwest and JetBlue frequent flyer for years. I fly with a small, mini pincher dog. He is registered as my emotional service dog. He’s well behaved. Can he travel with me while sitting on my lap?

      • Andrew Kunesh · August 2, 2019 · Reply

        Hello, according to Spirit Airlines’ website, trained service dogs can travel. However, you must submit the following forms on the airline’s website at least 48 hours before departure:

        – Mental Health Professional Form
        – Veterinary Health Form
        – Passenger Acknowledgement Form

        All of these forms can be found on the Spirit Airlines website. Thanks and safe travels!

  10. Spirit website says 100lb checked bag restriction. Where do you get this 40lb number from??

  11. Cathy HAMILTON · March 14, 2019 · Reply

    I called to cancel my flights for March 22-24. I already paid for baggage each way and I was told baggage is nonrefundable. How in the world can this be? This is ridiculous!!!

    • Hey Cathy, this really stinks! Unfortunately, issues like this are why Spirit generally gets a bad rap! (You can read more in our review of Spirit Airlines here.)

      They charge a ton of fees and aren’t great on the customer service side of things… there are even a couple of other airlines that follow this same policy. Ugh!

      It really stinks but there’s not a whole lot you can do about it – we’d be interested to know if any other readers have had this issue and have had it positively resolved?

  12. naty Almeida · April 17, 2019 · Reply

    This is going to be my first time flying with Spirit… I just have a bookbag, but I do not know if the bookbag is the perfect size?. This flight is so stressful!

    • Catherine Luther · April 18, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Naty,

      Did you add a carry-on bag to your booking? If you didn’t, then your carry-on allowance would be a personal item only measuring 18″ x 14″ x 8″. If you did add a carry-on bag, then you are permitted the personal item and a piece of carry-on measuring 22″ x 18″ x 10″.

      • Melissa · May 12, 2019 · Reply

        So if I have a personal item, which is a backpack that is 18”x14”x8” it’s free?

        • Catherine Luther · May 13, 2019 · Reply

          Hi Melissa, yes – if your backpack does not exceed the maximum size of a personal item (18″ x 14″ x 8″,) then this would comply with Spirit’s baggage policy and would be included in a bare fare ticket. If it does exceed these restrictions then you would need to pay for a larger bag.

  13. Brittini Manley · April 23, 2019 · Reply

    If I prepaid for a “carry on”, can I switch that to a “checked bag” once I get to the airport? Also, will they charge me?

    • Hi Brittini – you should be able to switch at the airport – simply let the agent know at the check-in counter that you would like to switch your carry-on to a checked bag.

      And yes, they will most certainly charge you if there is a difference in the two fees. Since we are not Spirit, I cannot confirm if they will charge you the difference between the fees, or simply charge you the entire checked bag fee. If you’re concerned, I would call their main reservation line (1-801-401-2222) and inquire with them directly.

      • sherrod chavies · July 1, 2019 · Reply

        Can I cancel a pre paid checked bag and get the money back?

        • Hi Sherrod – generally, most airlines won’t allow you to cancel or reimburse you for baggage you’ve already paid for but don’t use. Since Spirit’s notorious for being especially greedy with fees like this, I doubt they’d refund you but I’m not 100% sure. Might be worth a call to their customer service line to inquire with them directly!

          • Ben fear · October 16, 2019

            My bag is over the inches allowed but won’t be over the weight maybe by 10 centimetres even though I’ve paid for hold baggage how likely is it that I’ll get charged?

          • Hi Ben,

            If it is that close then it is possible they may not notice. However, if the gate agent decides to measure your bag they may charge you with an oversized fee.

            Thanks for reading!

  14. Joe Marino · May 2, 2019 · Reply

    Total rip off, how are you supposed to pack for a week under 40 pounds

    • Katie Seemann · May 3, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Joe,
      Yes, 40lbs is a little lower than most airlines’ weight limit. If you choose to fly Spirit it’s a good idea to add up all of the extra charges, including a potential overweight bag fee to see if you are saving money or not.

  15. Novelita · June 19, 2019 · Reply

    I’m flying to Cancun this weekend with Spirit Airlines. I’m bringing one personal item (18x14x8 it’s a small mini suitcase). Is there a weight restrictions on personal item?

    • Catherine Luther · June 19, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Novelita,

      Spirit does not state any weight allowances for a personal item within their baggage policy so as long as it adheres to the size allowance then you should be fine.

  16. Monique · June 20, 2019 · Reply

    Can I have my purse and a personal Item free of charge?

    • Hi Monique, generally, airlines consider a purse, briefcase or small backpack AS your personal item so no, you wouldn’t get both.

      This is how a personal item is defined on the Spirit Website: “Personal item (e.g., purse, small backpack, etc.): Dimensions must not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm) including handles and wheels.”

  17. George G · June 21, 2019 · Reply

    Does the handle of the checked bags, when raised to their maximum, count toward the height measurement or can they be recessed when they do the measuring?

  18. Juanita Gilkerson · June 23, 2019 · Reply

    This is my first time flying – I’m taking Spirit. When I put bags down I put 1 personal and 1 carry on going and 1 personal and 1 carry on and 1 checked on the way back. Is that the way I was understanding it? And what dimensions are 62 linear inches in inches not cms?

    • Hi Juanita – we’re a bit confused all around here. If you’re flying with a personal item, carry-on, and a checked bag on both legs of your trip, you will need to declare all of that luggage on each leg, not just one-way. However, if you’re flying one way without a checked bag and the other way WITH a checked bag then yes, you can declare/pay for it as you’ve stated above.

      I’m also not sure what you mean about asking for the max linear dimensions in inches (and not cm)? It’s already listed in inches for you.

  19. Anita DeFrancesco · July 4, 2019 · Reply

    Everything is a la carte with spirit airlines. I just had my first experience flying them and it will probably be my last. Too much stress around baggage and fees.

  20. Thomas Kellenberger · July 9, 2019 · Reply

    Does 62 linear inches equal 1×1 side or 4×1 side?

    • Hi Thomas,

      Linear inches refers to the sum total of your bag’s length, width, and depth. So, if your bag measures 33 inches high, 16 inches wide and 13 inches deep, its linear measurement or linear dimensions would be 33 + 16 + 13 = 62 linear inches. Of course, any other increments adding up to 62 will work just the same.

  21. 40-pound limit and carry on fee may very well make the savings of a trip booked with spirit negated for a single dad. First and last time I’ll ever use spirit.

  22. Gwen Godfrey · July 15, 2019 · Reply

    Good Morning, I have a flight on your airline on Aug 2, 2019. I have a C-pap machine which I have to use for sleeping. Is there a charge for this medical device, and if so what is the charge? I will be carrying this with me on my flight.

    • Hi Gwen,

      Please be advised that we are not, and have no affiliation with Spirit Airlines. With that said, will you C-pap machine fit in your luggage that you’re planning to bring? To be certain you’re getting accurate information I would advise you call the customer service line for Spirit at 1-(801) 401-2222. Thanks for reading!

  23. William Eugene Lopez · July 20, 2019 · Reply

    Bought tickets at the counter at the airport, noticed a TRAVEL FEES of 199.80 not to be confused with the taxes. What is that?

    • Catherine Luther · July 21, 2019 · Reply

      Hi William,

      It’s difficult to provide any advice here without knowing more about the booking. Did you book any extras such as carry-on or checked baggage, seat selections, priority boarding etc? If it’s not these extras then you would be best to contact Spirit to get clarity on these charges.

  24. I bought a ticket online but if I have a tiny backpack and regular travel bag what is the price if I pay at the airport, it is really confusing.

    • Catherine Luther · July 28, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Nadia,

      When you say a “regular travel bag,” assuming you mean a piece of carry-on, then the cost would be $55 to add this to your booking at the check-in desk. If you added this online now or during the online check-in process then this would be a little cheaper at $45.

  25. Connie Burgess · August 8, 2019 · Reply

    This will be my first time using Spirit. I did not know this would be so stressful regarding baggage. I have decided to pack light due to high expense cost of luggage fees. Could my 16″ rolling under seat carry on be a “personal item”?

    • Hi Connie,

      Unfortunately, you cannot bring a carry-on as a personal item as it is too large. An acceptable personal item with Spirt would be a purse, small backpack, laptop bag, or something similar.

      Thanks for reading!

  26. Bruna Paulo · August 11, 2019 · Reply

    HI! I have a suitcase with wheels with the size: 22 (height) x13.8 (width) x 7.9 (thickness) in. There is a so little difference between the personal item requirements.
    Do they normally charge me in the gate when this happens?
    Thanks

    • Hi Bruna,

      That will depend on the discretion of the gate agents. They may measure your bag at the gate and requite you to check it, in which case you will need to pay the fee.

      Thanks for reading!

  27. thomas hucker · August 14, 2019 · Reply

    How do I pre-pay for my bag?

  28. Kerry Doll · August 20, 2019 · Reply

    Doing my first flight with Spirit in September, and dreading it. But, you get what you pay for. So, for the 1 item (back pack), that would take the place of a purse and one under seat item? Or, can it be a purse no bigger than the stated back pack size? Husband and I are sharing one checked bag, so we have to worry about weight and size of the bag? Stressing!

    • Catherine Luther · August 21, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Kerry,

      I’m not sure if you’re referring to the personal item or standard carry-on. Depending on what you have booked, a personal item can measure up to 18″ x 14″ x 8″ and a standard carry-on can measure up to 22″ x 18″ x 10″.

  29. Mick Marino · September 3, 2019 · Reply

    Can I gate check a small guitar in a case for what cost? Can I do this on line?

    • Catherine Luther · September 4, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Mick,

      You could check a small guitar providing it does not exceed max linear dimensions of 62 inches or 40 lbs. The fee would depend on when you purchase the checked item (see the table featured in the article).

      You can add checked luggage online by logging in to your reservation via the ‘My Trips’ tab on the Spirit website and click ‘Add bags’. This can be done more than 24 hours before departure. For less than 24 hours before departure, use the ‘Online check-in’ tab.

  30. Do you offer Airmail to Haiti please. I have a carry on of books I need to send. Can someone bring it at the airport to deliver it to Spirit, pay for it and I will receive it? Please let me know if it is possible and what will be the price. It will be about 25- 35 lbs.
    Thanks

    • Catherine Luther · September 5, 2019 · Reply

      Hi Naomie,

      Please be aware that we are not Spirit Airlines, we are UpradedPoints.com. Spirit Airlines states on their website that they do not ship cargo.

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