Spirit Airlines Is Considering a New Kind of Checked-Bag Fee

Photo (cc) by Aero Icarus

There’s nothing new about basing airline ticket prices on demand. In fact, it’s expected that traveling the day after a holiday will be more expensive than traveling midweek before it.

But who would conceive of basing even checked-bag fees on demand?

If you guessed the airline that has a fee for virtually everything — the one that makes the largest chunk of its revenue from fees — bingo. It’s none other than Spirit Airlines, which has trouble showing up on time and keeping customers happy. This doesn’t seem like a change likely to help in the latter department.

Under this new idea, on a flight during a peak travel day, such as right before or after a holiday, Spirit would charge a higher rate to check a bag or pick a seat, reports The Associated Press. On a less-full flight, perhaps in the middle of the week, the fees could be lower.

But even Spirit won’t jump straight into demand-based fees, whether for baggage or other services. “This is something we’ve been thinking about for a while,” CEO Ben Baldanza told the AP. “It’s not a foregone conclusion.” But, he said, the fact that there is sometimes no room for bags and other times plenty of space shows the airline isn’t pricing services correctly.

The changes, if they come, are at least several months off, the AP says. Spirit hasn’t said how much the fees could change. In theory, the fees could be cheaper on slow days than they are now. Spirit charges $30 to $45 for the first checked bag, depending on when you pay the fee.

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