Spirit Airlines to increase fees this fall

Published: Oct. 2, 2012 at 10:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:24 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – If you're someone who likes to book flights with a smaller air carrier, travel experts encourage you to look elsewhere for flights.

About a month from now, on Nov. 6, Spirit Airlines will being charging passengers $100 to check a carry-on bag at the boarding gate. Fees will also increase for checking bags at the check-in counter and at booking.

"With the smaller carriers, it's a lot of extra fees that you're going to pay," said AAA representative Joy Nason. "You're going to pay for luggage, you may also have to pay for your seats, they're going to nickel and dime you once you get to the airport."

Nason added while flying on a smaller air carrier may seem cheaper at face value.  You might actually pay as much for your flight as you would with a major carrier by the time you take off.

"When they start adding on the fuel taxes and fuel surcharges and the government taxes," advises Nason, "you're going to wind up paying on what you thought was $275 ticket will be closer to $350 or $375."

Travel experts say there are some ways to avoid paying some of these fees. They recommend reading the fine print before you book your ticket, that way you will know how much you will have to pay and what exactly you will be paying for.

Another useful tip is not booking your assigned seat ahead of time. Nason said many airlines offer this option but it costs money to do that. Instead, she recommends waiting and letting the airline pick your seat at check-in.

During the first six months of 2012, the airlines collected about $3 billion from baggage fees and fees for canceling or changing a flight.

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