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Every airline’s carry on rules are slightly 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, Frontier, or Allegiant.
Low-cost airlines may have lower base fares, but if you’re not careful, you’ll actually pay more because of all their “a la carte” fees. These include costs for both checked and carry-on luggage, among other things.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about Spirit’s carry-on policy and what you should know to avoid getting hit with a barrage of Spirit Airlines Fees!
Spirit Airlines Carry-On Policy
Spirit allows one personal item onboard at no charge, but they will charge you for both you carry-on bags and any checked bags you have.
If there is one airline where you need to be aware of the size limits for your carry-on bag and your personal item size, it’s Spirit. They are notorious for being extremely strict about size restrictions and will charge you a fee if your bags don’t fit within their guidelines.
Because of this, you should always check the size and weight of all bags, both checked and carry-on, before leaving to board a Spirit flight!
Spirit Carry-On Size (Dimensions)
Spirit’s carry-on bag size limits are 22 x 18 x 10 inches ( 56 x 46 x 25 cm) and it must fit in the overhead bin or it will have to be checked. Your personal item 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 Airlines Bag Sizer
If you aren’t sure if your bag meets Spirit’s size limits, use their bag sizer which will be located at both the check-in counter and your departure gate. Spirit loves to use these sizers to extract extra fees from their customers, so it is very important that your bag fits within Spirit’s size requirements!
The fees for your carry-on will vary depending upon a variety of factors including when you pay for it, where you are flying to, and if you are a member of their Savers club. In order to know the actual cost of your carry-on and checked bags, you will have to use Spirit’s Bag-O-Tron tool.
Spirit actually charges about $10 more for a carry-on bag than your first checked bag.
Here are the fees you will pay at different points in the process:
|Savers Club Member
|Carry-on Bag (During Booking)
|Carry-on Bag (Online Before Check-In)
|Carry-on Bag (At Airport Check-In)
|Carry-on Bag (At Gate)
Double-check Spirit’s current bag prices for carry-on, checked bags, and sporting equipment. With Spirit, fees are always subject to change.
Spirit Airlines Carry-On Weight Limit
Spirit does not impose weight restrictions on your carry-on bag. However, when checking a bag, the weight limit is 40 pounds per bag. If your bag is over 40 pounds or larger than 62 linear inches, the following additional fees apply to checked luggage:
|Overweight Baggage (41-50 pounds)
|Overweight Baggage (51-70 pounds)
|Oversized Baggage (63-80 linear inches)
|Oversized Baggage (Over 80 linear inches)
Spirit Personal Item
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 does not charge a fee for a personal item, it’s included in the price of your ticket. This is about the only thing they won’t charge extra for.
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.
Spirit Carry-On Pet Fees
Here is a chart showing the pet fees Spirit charges each way. Double them for a round-trip flight.
|Pet Fee Each Way
|Any Spirit Airlines Flight
TSA-Approved Pet Carrier for Spirit
I have traveled with 2 dogs over the last 10 years, one was a 20 lb. Shih Tzu-Bichon (in the picture above) and another is a 12lb. Chihuahua mix. We used the Sherpa pet carrier when bringing them on a flight, and it worked great!
Features mesh panels so your pet can breathe easily, a non-slip shoulder strap, locking zippers, and a rear storage pocket for treats and other goodies.
Approved for use on most major airlines and the small and medium sizes are included in Sherpa's exclusive Guaranteed on Board program.
Prohibited and Restricted Items
There are certain items that are considered dangerous and classified as hazardous materials. 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.
Summary: Spirit Carry-On Policy
In summary, Spirit’s carry-on fees can be a big, unexpected expense for travelers who are not aware of their strict and painful policies. With Spirit, in particular, it’s very important to review their carry-on and checked baggage guidelines before booking a flight.
It’s always a good idea to research the baggage fees and policies of any airline before booking a flight, but it’s especially important with low-cost carriers, like Spirit Airlines. Here’s a link to Spirit’s Carry-On page to make sure you have the most up-to-date information.
More related articles…
- The Best Carry-On Bags for Regional and Small Jets
- Spirit Airlines Liquid Policy
- Spirit Airlines Delay and Cancellation Policy
Frequently Asked Questions:
Yes. You can bring snacks on board a Spirit flight. They offer snacks and drinks for sale, but you will pay for them at a rate of $3-$15 each. Bringing a snack with you will ensure you get what you want and will save you some money as well.
Yes, as long as you adhere to the TSA Liquids requirements. Mini bottles of alcohol are allowed in carry-on bags but they must be able to comfortably fit into a single quart-sized bag.
Yes. But be careful. Spirit charges for carry-on bags, so make sure to tell them it is part of your clothing (i.e. a “wrap”) or you might get charged.
Tim is a business road warrior and avid leisure traveler who has flown over two million miles in the air and spent well over a thousand nights in hotels. He enjoys sharing tips, tricks, and hacks to help readers get the most out of their travel experience and learn how to “travel like a pro”!