Spirit Airlines allows you to carry a personal item onboard their aircraft. If you want to bring on a full-sized carry on you have to pay.
United’s new basic economy fares won’t allow you to bring a full-sized carry on onboard at all.
A couple of weeks ago American revealed that they’re going to follow United’s lead and forbid passengers buying basic economy fares from bringing a full-sized carry on onboard as well.
That makes American and United less flexible than Spirit.
Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo
And American took it a step further with published rules for the personal item: you’ll only be able to bring an item onboard if it’s 18″ x 14″ x 8″ or smaller, and “plan[s] to update the bag sizers to make allowable carry-on sizes clear.”
No doubt “for competitive reasons” Spirit has determined that it’s going to have to reduce its own generosity, down to the depths of American Airlines. Via Emily McNutt, Spirit is reducing the size of an allowable carry-on effective April 4 to exactly the size that American Airlines will allow.
I never thought I’d see in my lifetime Spirit Airlines diminishing the passenger experience so that they aren’t more generous than American.
For some elements of the inflight experience American Airlines will be better than Spirit even on Basic Economy fares, however in other elements of passenger experience Spirit will be the better choice. For instance,
- American Airlines offers 1 to 2 inches of additional legroom in economy compared to Spirit.
- American’s full-sized carry on limit — when you’re allowed to bring one — is 22″ x 14″ x 9″. But you cannot even pay to bring one on when traveling on a Basic Economy fare. Spirit’s carry-on limit, when you pay for one, is 22″ x 18″ x 10″ so more generous.
- Spirit will offer seat assignments in advance for a fee. American Airlines will only offer seat assignments 48 hours in advance for a fee on Basic Economy fares.
- American will still print boarding passes at the airport for free, and will serve you inflight drinks for free. Spirit charges for both.
Here’s how Spirit’s “Bare Fares” work:
Now that Spirit has joined PreCheck if you’re going to buy the cheapest fares you’ll need to decide which option is better for you. (or Southwest.)
To borrow a phrase that’s largely entered the lexicon over the past 18 months, “Sad!”