spirit airlines

Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees & Policy (2020 Update)

Hey there, looking to go on a trip on a Spirit Airlines flight? Going to your favorite vacation place or on business? Great, but do you know what kind of bags are allowed on Spirit flights, and their charges? If not, don’t worry, here we are with a complete guide to Spirit Airlines baggage fees and policy, updated for 2020-21. 

Today, we will talk about Spirit baggage fees, Spirit carry-on fees, how to avoid extra baggage costs on Spirit flights, Spirit personal items policy and Spirit carry-on restrictions, Spirit airlines pet policy, Spirit checked bag restrictions, etc. We will also learn about what you can or cannot transport on a Spirit flight, including sports and military bags in Spirit. Further, we will tell you what to do if your baggage in Spirit is lost or damaged. And there are some special Spirit Airlines coupons just for you at the end too! 

Let’s jump in! 

Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees 

Spirit lets you carry 1 personal item for free in the base ticket fare. But it must fit in the sizer box they provide at check-in. It can be a purse, a small backpack, etc. Any more and then you will have to pay baggage charges, be it a carry-on bag or a checked bag. The table below will clearly show the Spirit baggage fees: 

Type of Luggage Spirit Weight Limit Spirit Size Limit * Spirit baggage fees Pre-booked carry-on  10″ x 18″ x 22″
Spirit Airlines Checked Bag Weight 
$26-$55 Baggage check fee at gate  62″ $65 1st checked bag 40 lbs. 
80″ $21-$50 
2nd checked bag 40 lbs. 80″ $31-$60 
3rd, 4th and 5th checked bag 40 lbs. 80″ $76-$100 
Overweight bag (each) 41 to 100 lbs. ** 80″ $75 extra 
Oversized bag (each) 40 lbs. 63” to 80″ ** $100 extra 
* The bag sizes given above are total dimensions (length + weight + height), except the first row. 
** Spirit Airlines does not allow bags that are more than 100 pounds in weight, or larger than 80 inches in total dimensions. 

Notemultiple fees can be applied to one bag if it falls into multiple categories. For example, if your fourth checked bag is weighed 50 pounds, you have to pay both the extra luggage fee and the overweight fee, totaling $76 + $75 = $149 at least. Also, prices vary depending upon ticket class and region/country through which the flight is taking you.

Spirit Airlines Carry-On Fees 

The first item you take on the plane, like a small purse or small bag that fits under the seat, is called a personal item and is free with the base ticket.

Spirit carry on size

You are allowed one more item which is a carry-on, of similar dimensions (10″ x 18″ x 22″) but it will cost you. You can avoid some of this fee if you are a Spirit $9 Fare Club

The funny thing about Spirit Airlines, is the fees increase for bags as you book them later and later. The following table depicts the Spirit standard carry-on fee range at various points in the process: 

spirit carry on fees
Point of booking Standard Fees Fees for $9 Club 
Online booking $37 to $40 $28 to $31 
Before/during online check-in $47 to $50 $38 to $41 
At the reservation desk $55 to $60 $55 to $60 
At the gate $65 $65 

So, you see, the closer you get to the departure phase, the more money you lose. For this reason, we suggest you pack well-planned and book your bags right at the beginning, of online booking. 

Avoiding Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees 

Nobody wants to pay the extra mile for their bags, and Spirit is notorious for its extra charges! If you have seen the price charts above, you must be wondering, how can you avoid paying spirit baggage fees, or at least, how to pay possibly the lowest baggage fees in Spirit. Here are some tips! 

  • The Capital One Miles are very useful since your charges are reduced depending on how many miles you have traveled. Some of their cards even reward you with bonus miles when you spend some money from them, which may be $200-1000 worth in Spirit airplane tickets. Check here about how to get Capital One miles. 
  • Some of the American Express cards, like the Platinum and Gold, come with airline credits that you can attach to Spirit Airlines, and when you pay using those credits you can save $100-200 easily. Some other cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve also have similar benefits. 
spirit air personal items policy
  • You can join the Spirit $9 Fare Club for around $60 a year, which will give you some good discounts on most of the fees in Spirit flights. Most of it benefits from Spirit baggage fees.  
Spirit Pet Carry Policy
  • If you plan carefully, you can choose to send most of your luggage via a much cheaper shipping service, and travel light (with just your handbag or backpack, that would be free). This page will tell you how much it would actually cost you to ship your luggage around. 

Spirit Airlines Personal Items Policy 

Any bag or boxlike container you bring on the plane with you is considered a personal item by Spirit Airlines. Below are the Spirit personal items rules: 

  • Only items like purses, handbags, small laptop bags, etc. will be allowed as personal items. 
  • The item must completely fit in the small sizer box at the check-in, including any handles or wheels. 
  • Spirit personal item size: 18”14”x8” (45x35x20cm) at the maximum. 
  • The personal item should be stowed in the under-seat storage space. 
  • Some items do not count towards personal items or carry-on allowance in Spirit Airlines. These Spirit airlines extra items include:  
    • Outer layer clothing like jackets, coats, etc. 
    • Assistive devices like crutches, walkers, etc. 
    • Medical devices plugged into you – small, with proper documents. 
    • Child care items like diaper bags, breast milk bottles, baby formula, etc. 
    • Duty-free items – packed securely in original bags. 
  • If for some reason any personal item or carry-on was unable to be stowed in the overhead bin or under seat space, you have to check it in

Spirit Airlines Pet Carry Policy 

If you have a furry or feathery friend, you may often wonder if you can carry him or her with you. Well, if you are traveling within the USA in a Spirit flight, you sure can!  

Spirit Pet Transport Rules  

Here are the pet transport rules in Spirit flights: 

  • Pets are allowed only in Domestic flights. 
  • In international Spirit flights, only service animals are allowed, with proper papers. 
  • Only the following animals are allowed to be carried on Spirit flights: 
    • Domesticated cats and dogs 
    • Small birds and rabbits 
      • NOT farm poultry, waterfowl, game birds, flightless birds, etc. 
  • Birds and rabbits are not allowed to or from being transported to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
  • You need to tell the airlines beforehand about wanting to carry a pet. 
  • The pet must not be sick, violent, or in some physical distress at the time of flight. It needs to be odorless as well. It should not require any attention in flight. 
  • The animal must be over 8 weeks old and fully weaned. 
  • The pet must be carried in a proper pet carrier, and stay inside the carrier at all times from check-in to check-out. Detailed Spirit Airlines pet carrier rules: 
    • Only soft-sided containers are allowed. 
    • Pet carrier size must not be greater than 18″ x 14″ x 9″ (45.72cm x 35.56 cm x 22.86cm). 
    • The container must cover the entire pet animal, and the animal has to be able to stand up and turn around comfortably inside the container. 
    • The total weight of the pet + container must be less than 40 pounds (18 kg). 
    • The container will count as your carry-on luggage, and you are allowed only 1. 
    • The pet will be inspected by security screeners before boarding. 
    • If your pet animals are small enough, then you can take 2 of them inside the container, but they have to be comfortable enough in the carrier – it will be checked. 
  • You have to show a rabies vaccination certificate for the pet. 
  • If you are carrying a pet container, you cannot have a seat in the first row or in the rows where the emergency exits are located. 
  • If you have a larger pet or it weighs more than 40 lbs. you can’t just check them in as checked bags – Spirit airlines doesn’t ever take pets in the cargo.  

Spirit pet transport fees 

You have to pay $110 per pet carrier (not per animal) for each flight you take on Spirit Airlines. However, if your pet is a service animal (you have to show valid documents), then this fee is waived. 

Spirit Airlines checked bag restrictions 

To begin with, just like any other airline, Spirit also abides by the TSA restricted items list and will refuse to take those items onboard. Other than that, the following items have restrictions on them and you should better not pack them at all.  

Spirit restricted items list 

  • Alcohol 
  • Antlers 
  • Archery Equipment 
  • Artistic Items 
  • Balls/Balloons 
  • Baseball Equipment 
  • Bicycles 
  • Bowling Equipment 
  • Boxes and Plastic Containers 
  • Camping Gear 
  • Ceramics/Chinaware/Glass 
  • Chainsaws 
  • Dry Ice 
  • Electronic Cigarettes (e-cigarettes) 
  • Electronics 
  • Firearms 
  • Fishing Equipment 
  • Golf Equipment 
  • Hockey Equipment 
  • Hover Boards and Electric Skateboards 
  • Household Articles 
  • Ice 
  • Incubators 
  • Javelin/Vaulting Pole Equipment 
  • Kayak, Boat, Canoes 
  • Lacrosse Equipment
  • Lithium-Ion Batteries for Mobility Assistive Devices 
  • Lithium Metal Batteries for Portable Electronic Devices 
  • Lithium-Ion Batteries for Portable Electronic Devices   
  • Martial Arts Equipment 
  • Musical Instruments 
  • Musical Instruments as Seat Baggage 
  • Nebulizers 
  • Non-Spillable Wet Batteries for Portable Electronic Devices 
  • Oxygen 
  • Paintball Equipment 
  • Parachute Equipment 
  • Perishables 
  • Photographic Equipment 
  • Portable Dialysis Machines 
  • Portable Oxygen Concentrators 
  • Precision Instruments 
  • Ski Equipment (Water or Snow) 
  • Scuba Diving Equipment 
  • Skateboards 
  • Snowboards, Wakeboards, Boogie boards, Bodyboards, and Kiteboards
  • Surfing Equipment 
  • Tennis 
  • Tools/Power Tools 
  • Wheelchairs 
  • Windsurfing Equipment 
  • Wood Carvings 
  • Urns/ Human Remains & Organs 

However, some items on this restricted items list on Spirit are allowed under some conditions. Please download this PDF file to know the full details of transporting such items; look in the “Conditions for Acceptance of Special Items” section.  

When can you check in your bags for Spirit Airlines? 

There are three ways to check in your bags with Spirit Airlines: online, at a self-service kiosk, and at the ticket counter. 

  • Online web check-in: you can use the Spirit Airlines web portal to check in your bags from 1 to 24 hours before the time of departure. You’ll get a digital copy of your boarding pass this way. You can change your seats in this method too if you want. However, you must drop your bags at the airport baggage drop anyway.  
    • Note: you won’t be able to use the online check-in if you are: 
      • Traveling with pets, service animals, or infants 
      • Traveling in a large group (10 or more) 
      • An unaccompanied minor 
      • Non-US citizens on international flights 
      • Have purchased an extra seat, or a special item (restricted) 
  • Self-service kiosk check-in: It works much the same as the online service, but you can do it only 30 to 180 minutes before the flight. You’d get a printed pass, however, but it’ll cost you $2.  
  • Ticket counter check-in: Same as the kiosk method, you have to check in from 30 to 180 minutes before a flight at the ticket counter. The printed boarding pass fee is $10 here, and you may be facing a long line. 

Spirit Airlines military baggage fees 

Spirit airlines are proud of the US military, and they offer some special considerations for active duty US military personnel. These rules are as follows: 

  • Any US military personnel on active duty will be able to enjoy the fees waived off their carry-on item, and the first two standards of checked bags. (Oversize/overweight/excess baggage charges will still apply, though). 
  • Military personnel should arrive early enough to get their bags checked. 
  • They have to present valid active service identification and documents. 
  • They can now check in through the Spirit web portal using the third-party ID.ME service. 
  • This service covers only the active duty military personnel, not their family. 
  • If you are wounded in military service and need to get to your family via flight, or you need to get to your family member who was wounded in battle, you may be able to get an entirely free flight to/from your loved ones. This service is provided in partnership with Luke’s Wings, please find more details from them. 

Spirit International Baggage Rules 

Mostly, international travelers may expect the same baggage rules as domestic travelers in Spirit Airlines. However, there are a few Spirit international baggage rules that you have to note, as follows: 

  1. If you’re traveling through the USA (it not being your start/end destination), then you will have to collect all your luggage after going through customs and check them in again with the Spirit Airlines agent.  
  2. If you are going to or coming from Lima, Peru – there are the following baggage restrictions: 
    • You are allowed only 1 checked bag/case/pack/equipment, besides your carry-on and personal item. 
    • The Spirit Overweight item weight limit is barred at 50 pounds (23 kgs); no heavier bags will be accepted. 
    • Sports equipment in Spirit to/from Lima can be a bit larger than 80 inches, but they still need to be lighter than 50 pounds. And there may be some extra fees for such items. 
    • Items larger than 80 inches will not be accepted between 1st December and 10th January. 
  3. There are some standing international baggage restrictions in Spirit Airlines around Christmas time, for all international destinations. From 1st December to 10th January, you have to abide by the following: 
    • You can take only 1 checked bag per head – though if there is space left (it usually doesn’t), you may be able to check another bag, for a heavy fee. 
    • The limit of overweight items is lowered to 70 pounds (32 kg).  

What if my bags are lost or damaged on a Spirit Airlines flight? 

There is a robust infrastructure of Spirit Airlines’ damaged baggage claim system. However, first, you have to note that Spirit will not take responsibility for the following kinds of damages: 

  • Overpacking the bag  
  • Fragile or perishable items  
  • Manufacturer’s defects 
  • Pre-existing damage 
  • Scuff marks 
  • Unboxed electronics and medicines 

If your baggage was lost or has suffered any damages other than the above, you have to report it as soon as possible – there are time limits: 

  • Domestic damaged baggage reporting time limit in Spirit: within 4 hours of arrival 
  • International damaged baggage reporting time limit in Spirit: within 7 days of arrival 

You can make the damage report to the Baggage Service Office at the airport, with a Spirit Airlines employee.  

After you have made this Lost or Damaged Baggage Report, you will have to file a Spirit-damaged baggage claim using this link. You will find detailed instructions about how to do that on that page. 

There is an online form on that page that you will have to fill up and submit. If for some reason, that form submission is not working, then you can make the claim manually by downloading the form, and mailing it (with appropriate documents) to the following address: 

Spirit Airlines  

ATTENTION: Luggage Resolution Department 

2800 Executive Way 

Miramar, FL 33025 

Note: Here is a full list of items not under the cover of Spirit Airlines’ damaged/lost baggage policy. Your report and claim have to be outside those. 

Spirit Airlines coupons 

FAQ’s about Spirit Airlines Baggage Policy & Fees

  • What size bag can you carry-on Spirit Airlines for free? 
    • The Spirit personal item size is limited to 18 x 14 x 8 inches, and that is the only free baggage allowed on a Spirit flight. This can be like a small bag, purse, handbag, etc. If you want to bring an extra carry-on bag in Spirit, you will have to pay for it. 
  • Does Spirit charge for backpacks? 
    • If the backpack is small enough (within 18 x 14 x 8 inches), and it’s the only item you’ll have on the plane, then it will be free. But if it’s a larger bag, or if it’s in addition to something else you’re carrying in-flight, then there will be charges applied. 
  • How do I avoid paying baggage fees on Spirit Airlines? 
    • There are multiple ways you can avoid paying extra fees on Spirit Airlines, some of which are:
      • Buy the ticket at the airport.
      • Do not reserve seats in advance, do it later. 
      • Get an online boarding pass, and print it yourself. 
      • Pack extremely light and little.  
      • Pay for your bags online, while booking or checking in.  
      • Bring your own food and drinks, under the limit. 
      • If you often fly on Spirit Airlines, register for the Spirit $9 fare club.  
  • Can I bring a purse and a backpack to Spirit Airlines? 
    • You are allowed two items only with you on a Spirit Airlines flight, both of which have to be smaller than 18 x 14 x 8 inches. The first of these will be free of charge. If your purse and backpack are smaller than this limit and you are willing to pay for the second bag, sure! 
  • How strict is Spirit Airlines with a carry-on? 
    • Spirit Airlines’ carry-on rules clearly say that you are allowed only one item in-flight free of charge, and another for a $26-$55 fee depending upon the route. Both of them have to be small enough to fit in the overhead bin or the space under the seat. They are pretty severe on this rule. 
  • What are Spirit Airlines’ hidden fees? 
    • There are some fees that Spirit charges but are not mentioned clearly before booking. These are: 
      • $9-$17 service charges (for booking online)
      • $10 Allegiant charges (for booking online) 
      • Up to $50 (for reserved seats) 
      • Up to $10 (for printing the boarding pass) 
  • How much is a checked bag on Spirit 2020? 
    • A basic rundown of Spirit baggage fees is as follows: 
Baggage Type During Online Check-In (Standard Fare) At Airport 
Carry-On Bag $41 $55 
1st Checked Bag $36 $50 
2nd Checked Bag $46 $60 
3rd-5th Checked Bag $91 $100 
  • Does Spirit give free water? 
    • No. They do sell some food and beverages you can buy using a card. That can be expensive, though – better pack your own snacks and water. Watch the Spirit Airlines food and beverages restrictions, though. 
  • Do you have to pay for checked bags twice on a round trip spirit? 
    • The Spirit Airline baggage fees are counted per piece of baggage and per flight (direction). So, yes, you will have to pay twice for your bags – once when going, and once for coming back. However, if you are on a connection flight (one-way), generally baggage is transferred between flights without extra cost – with a few exceptions.
  • How many bags can I carry on Spirit? 
    • You can carry one free personal item (a purse or handbag like a small bag), one paid to carry on bag (which has to be small enough to fit in the bin), and up to five checked bags, paid, in Spirit. But only the first 2 checked bags are relatively cheap to bring, from the third bag onwards you have to give huge fees. 
  • Is Spirit safe to fly? 
    • Every week, hundreds of thousands of people fly domestic or international on Spirit Airlines flights, so, yes, I guess it’s as safe as most any other common modes of transportation. So far, the error or accident rates of Spirit are pretty much similar to other airlines, so it’s safe enough. Though you might be concerned about comfort issues. 

Check Other Airlines Baggage Fees and Policy.

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