As if air travel wasn’t already a big headache, the US carrier Spirit Airlines has doled us a new one: fees of up to $100 for carry-on luggage.
Beginning in November, the airline will charge travellers $35 for one carry-on bag when they book their ticket early, but the price increases to $50 if they pay for the bag at check-in and doubles to $100 if the traveller turns up at the gate without a prepaid ticket for their bag. Currently, Spirit charges $45 for a bag at check-in when a last-minute ticket is purchased.
"It seems the good old days of having your luggage and [meals] covered on an airline trip are gone," Al Valente, owner of Valente Travel in Windsor, told the Vancouver Sun earlier this week.
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While Spirit doesn’t fly below the equator, there’s a good chance that carry-on baggage fees are in Australia’s future.
“As a general rule, I reckon it used to take 10 to 20 years for American ideas to germinate in Australia,” wrote the Sydney Morning Herald’s resident travel guru Clive Dorman. “However, just as new TV shows and first-release movies now premiere here virtually simultaneously with their first runs in Europe and the USA, the goings on in the northern hemisphere these days have no sooner been thought of before they’re being picked up Down Under.”
For now, Aussie travellers may watch as the cost of airport community policing is passed on to them in an effort to recover $610 million in air passenger movement charges.