Spirit Airlines Introducing $5 Boarding Pass Fee

Posted Jun 22nd 2011 11:45 AMUpdated Jun 22nd 2011 03:37 PM


Spirit Airlines Introducing $5 Boarding Pass Fee

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From the airline that brought you carry-on baggage fees, Spirit Airlines, comes a new fee for boarding passes.

The super-discount airline announced Monday that, beginning November 1, boarding passes printed by a Spirit agent will run a passenger $5 each way. There is no charge for checking in online or printing one's own boarding pass from an airport kiosk.

According to the company, this new policy will mean even more savings for passengers as flight fares will be $5 cheaper. The decision stemmed from a survey that revealed 94% of respondents would be willing to check in online if it meant saving a few more dollars.

"We believe it is important to let customers decide what is of value to them. We want to give them the ability to choose the extras they want without forcing them to pay for add-ons they don't want or need," said Spirit President and CEO Ben Baldanza in a press release. "Why would you want to pay for services you don't use?"

But, watch out for another fee in the future. Beginning June 26, 2012, passes printed at airport kiosks will be $1. However, fees are waived at airports where kiosks don't exist.

Spirit is not the first airline to rock the boat with its fees. Discount European carrier Ryanair instituted a policy whereby guests who didn't arrive with a pre-printed boarding pass had to pay 40 Euro ($56) to have one issued. A Spanish judge ruled this unfair and void. But, as Lily Allen tweeted earlier this month, it's still 40 quid for a piece of paper she had for seven minutes.

Filed Under: Air Travel, News

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Printing my own boarding pass on the return journey is usually impossible. A few hotels will print them for free, but most charge. Why is the kiosk use (starting in 2012) going to incur a fee? If you go to their site you will see a huge list of passengers for whom checking in with the agent is mandatory, but nothing to say the $5 fee will be waived. I'd never fly Spirit again if they were not the only airline that flies to certain places I need to travel.

June 24 2011 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Frank Olivier

I live 15 minutes from a Spirit hub. I drive an hour to avoid using them.
No matter how much BS they throw out there to "justify" themselves, I find their rhetoric very patronizing.
They are NOT a discount airline, their prices after all those fees are comprable to every other airline, and since they've been around about 20 years they don't have huge retirement salaries to support which means, this is just another example of corporate greed. In some industries, their advertising tactics would be considered "bait and switch". In short, THEY SUCK.

June 23 2011 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How much does Spirit charge me to use my own thumb and hitch hike to my destination?

June 23 2011 at 11:09 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

My many experiences with Spirit lead me to one conclusion. Compare how much you are "saving" with them. Then project the misery of your experience flying with them. Is it worth it? If you have luggage, send it to your destination via UPS and cut the cost in half. Further, there are no known incidence of them peeing on anyone's packages yet. This method also alleviates lugging the bags through security. With no luggage to worry about, you can look forward to bitchy stewardesses and wrestling with the 400 lb. dude next to you who keeps insisting that half of your tiny seat belongs to him. Flying is one step below being tazed on the misery chart.

June 23 2011 at 11:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Easy to print pass if you are at home, but away from home access to a printer and computer is not always accessible. Really makes me want to travel by plane more....NOT!

June 23 2011 at 11:02 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I stopped using Spirit three years ago - never on time coupled with crazy fees. Definitely as bad a Ryan in Europe.

June 23 2011 at 10:47 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone actually read the article? The normal fee has been reduced $5. If you print out your own ticket at the kiosk you don't get charged. If you stand in line and have to have an actual human agent print it out for you, you get charged. Remember when Obama said ATM's mean increased unemployment- this is an example. Spirit doesn't want to pay the ticket agents, they are trying to have it go completely automatic so they can fire unneeded agents.
Remember, this is what you asked for. The customers said they wanted this if it meant saving a couple bucks.

June 23 2011 at 10:37 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Rude staff, ridiculous fees, and substandard service; Spirit is a big deal at my local airport, but I'll pay more or drive further to avoid taking them

June 23 2011 at 10:25 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Used to fly Spirit all the time, now I wouldn't if the were the last Airline out there!
They truley are idiots!

June 23 2011 at 10:23 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

It should be illegal to have all of these "add on fees". I love the commercial on tv that shows a cabbie trying to charge extra for luggage placed in the trunk of his cab .. it points out how greedy the airlines are .. and also how stupid passengers are to continue to fly on these uncaring airlines.

June 23 2011 at 10:19 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply