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If you’re planning to travel with just a carry-on, you’ll need to be up to speed with your airline’s carry-on policy. Each airline’s rules are different, so don’t just assume that what works for one, will work for all airlines. This is especially true if you’re flying a low-cost airline, like Spirit.
Low-cost airlines may have lower base fares, but if you’re not careful, you’ll actually end up paying more because of all the “a la carte” fees they have. These include fees for both checked and carry-on luggage, among other things.
If you are going to be flying Spirit, here are the carry-on rules and size limits you need to be aware of.
Spirit Airlines Carry-On Rules and Bag Guidelines
Spirit allows one personal item onboard at no charge, but they charge for both carry-on and checked bags.
If there is one airline where you need to be aware of the size limits for your carry-on and personal item, it’s Spirit. They are notorious for being extremely strict about the size limits and hitting you with fees if your bags don’t meet them.
Always check the size and weight of all bags, both checked and carry-on, before leaving to board a Spirit flight!
Spirit Personal Item Size & Fees
According to Spirit, personal items include a purse, briefcase, laptop, backpack, shopping bag or a similar sized item.
They must fit under the seat in front of you and the dimensions cannot exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm) including handles and wheels.
Spirit Carry-On Size & Fees
Spirit’s size requirements for a carry-on are 22″ x 18″ x 10″. The carry-on bag must be stowed in the overhead bin or it will have to be checked.
The fees for your carry-on vary depending upon a variety of factors including when pay for it and if you are a member of their $9 fare club. Here are the fees you will pay at different points in the process:
- $9 fare club members – $28.00 – $31.00
- Standard – $37.00 – $40.00
Before & During Online Check-In:
- $9 fare club members – $38.00 – $41.00
- Standard – $47.00 – $50.00
Airport Reservation Desk:
- $55.00 – $60.00
At the gate:
Double check Spirit’s current bag prices for carry-on, checked bags, and sporting equipment.
Spirit Carry-On Weight Limits
Spirit does not impose weight restrictions with a carry-on bag. However, when checking a bag, the weight limit is 40 pounds per bag.
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as a hazardous material. Dangerous goods are prohibited from both your carry-on and checked bag on all flights. These rules are not specific to any airline and are mandated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The rules for carry-on liquids are set by the TSA and FAA. Spirit doesn’t make the rules, but they must enforce them.
The TSA 3-1-1 Rule
Each passenger may carry liquids, gels and aerosols in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters. Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels and aerosols. Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.
Any liquid that does not meet the TSA 3-1-1 rule will either have to be checked with your luggage or will be thrown away at the security check point.
Here is a little video to help illustrate:
There are two different scenarios pertaining to food:
- Food you bring with you from home, and
- Food you buy at the airport, after you have gone through security.
An important thing to note is the classification of liquid vs. solid foods. The general rule is “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, then it’s considered a liquid or gel,”. This means your food may be considered a liquid and will fall under the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule, which mandates that any liquid, gel, cream, aerosol, or paste in a carry-on must be 3.4 ounces or less, and fit in one quart-size resealable bag (only one such bag is allowed per passenger).
Here’s a link to the TSA website advising what food can be brought with you on your Spirit flight. This applies to food you are bringing from home through security. Once you get through security, you can bring just about any food on the plane that you buy at the airport.
Spirit Airlines Carry-On Pet Policy
Spirit Airlines allows small domesticated pets to travel on all domestic flights including Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Spirit will only allow the following pets on the aircraft:
- Domestic dogs
- Domestic cats
- Small household birds (except to / from Puerto Rico and the U.S.V.I.)
- Small domestic rabbits (except to/from Puerto Rico and U.S.V.I)
If you are going to bring a pet on board with you, it must be able to fit in a small, ventilated pet carrier that fits under the seat in front of you. Your pet carrier cannot exceed 18″ x 14″ x 9″, and the combined weight of your pet and the carrier must not exceed 40 pounds.
Here are a couple of other guidelines when traveling with a pet:
- A health certificate is not required for pets traveling with guests in the aircraft cabin, except for Guests traveling to U.S.V.I.
- Spirit Airlines does require a rabies vaccination certificate for pets traveling with guests in the aircraft cabin to Puerto Rico.
- Spirit only allows small domestic dogs, domestic cats, small household birds and small domestic rabbits on the aircraft.
- Birds are not allowed to and from cities in Puerto Rico or the U.S.V.I.
- Exotic pets such as snakes, spiders, rodents, etc. will not be accepted.
- A maximum of 2 pets per container is permitted, but only one container per guest is allowed.
- Animals must be able to stand upright and move about comfortably in the container.
- The pet should be at least eight (8) weeks old and fully weaned.
- The animal must be harmless, inoffensive, odorless, and require no attention during the flight.
- If the animal becomes offensive or causes a disturbance prior to leaving the gate; it will be removed.
- The pet cannot be ill, violent, or in physical distress.
- Advance notice is recommended but not required.
- You may choose to sit anywhere you wish with the exception of the first row and emergency exit rows.
Carry-On Pet Fees
Here is a chart showing the pet fees Spirit charges each way. Double them for a round trip flight.
|To/From Destination||Pet Fee Each Way|
|Any Spirit Airlines Flight||$ 110.00|
TSA Approved Pet Carrier for Spirit
Spirit Carry-On Fee
Here is a link to Spirit’s Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up to date information.