Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines are getting in the holiday spirit by raising prices. The low-cost airlines are hiking checked bag fees during the holidays and other peak travel periods.
Spirit Airlines, which charges for checked bags, seat assignments, refreshments and many other “optional” a-la-carte services year-round, has added a $2 seasonal checked bag fee in the past.
The surcharge is back from December 18 through January 4, 2016.
The company’s say they have to add new charges to make up for the added weight caused by holiday travelers. Customers tend to check more bags which “adds costs for baggage handling, manpower, airport infrastructure and added weight to aircraft, which burns more jet fuel,” explains Spirit spokesman Paul Berry.
“Most airlines respond to these added costs by jacking up their ticket prices for everyone. However, we temporarily charge only those who are checking bags an extra $2 to cover the added cost,” he added.
Frontier Airlines added its own peak travel surcharges for both checked and carry-on bags in June.
“We have luggage options that are higher during half the year,” said airline spokesman Jim Faulkner, “The holidays are not singled out. March is the same price as Christmas.”
The problem with the baggage fees are that many customers don’t realize they are being charged. The “dynamic” pricing being used varies by destination at Spirit Airlines.
At Frontier it can be even harder to tell what prices are being added because of a confusing price matrix which customers can look at when determining added costs.
Before you book with a low-cost airline this holiday season, be sure to check out the actual cost of your flight — with baggage included.