Spirit Airlines Ditches Toll-Free Line

Spirit Airlines Ditches Toll-Free Line Photo (cc) by Karolina Kabat

No free bags. No free food. And now, no free phone calls.

Spirit Airlines has quietly dropped its toll-free number in favor of a batch of numbers with an 801 area code, the South Florida Business Journal says.

The airline was the first to adopt a carry-on bag fee, which is a minimum of $25 but could be as much as $100 if you wait until you get to the airport. (That idea has been copied by Allegiant and, just last week, Frontier.)

“Customers are now able to choose from a selection of dedicated numbers depending on their calling needs, which provides a more efficient and better overall customer experience,” a Spirit spokeswoman told the paper.

The change will hurt land-line phone users more than those with cellphone plans, which usually don’t charge extra for long-distance calling. It could cost as much as 18 cents per minute on land lines.

It’s just the latest in Spirit’s ongoing fee-for-all. Here’s a full list of Spirit’s fees, which number in the dozens. (Note that bag fees are one-way.) Fox News highlighted some of the most outrageous ones, including a fee to print your boarding pass and one to sit closer to the front — not first class, just closer to the exit.

Spirit competitors JetBlue, AirTran and Frontier all still have toll-free lines, the South Florida Business Journal said.

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