Spirit Airlines Charges Soldiers for Carry On Bags-Reported as Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The father of a military service member commented on a Facebook page called “Spirit Airlines Sucks” that his son was charged $55 to carry a uniform onto a Spirit Airlines flight and was told by a customer service rep that Spirit Airlines does not “cater to the military.”
Spirit Airlines doesn’t offer military discounts, but we’re waiting to hear back about the claims made in this particular rumor.
We reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment on the rumor that it does not “cater to the military” and charges service members to carry their uniforms onto flights, and future updates will be posted here.
The rumor surfaced when a man who identified himself as the father of a service member posted a comment to the “Spirit Airlines Sucks” Facebook page in October 2015 that reads:
On 10/16/2015 my son came home from leave from the United States Army, he flew in on American Airlines, he tried to save by flying back on Spirit Airlines ( what a mistake ) when he was going back on 10/19/2015 the ticket agent in Detroit Metro Airport asked him what was in his garment bag he was carrying he replied my army dress blues uniform. The ticket agent informed him he would have to pay 55 dollars to bring it on board. I stepped in and said you are going to charge this kid in the army 55 dollars to bring his army uniform on the plane? HER EXACT WORDS WERE WE DO NOT CATER TO THE MILITARY. My son replied when i fly in on American or Delta they do not charge me, in fact they ask me if they can hang it up for me and tell me thanks for your service and flying with us. I have called Spirit and trying talking with them it’s like talking to a wall. I am fighting this as far as i can go, they have lost fares from everyone in my family and i am sure when this gets out they will lose a lot more from the military that travel their airlines. I hope people reading this will please share it on their face book pages…
We’ve confirmed that most of what that Facebook post says about Spirit Airlines is true, but we can’t confirm the specific claim that this man’s service member son was charged $55 to carry his uniform onto a Spirit Airlines flight.
Spirit Airlines is an economy airline that goes by the philosophy that “we believe in paying for what you use, not what you don’t.” The airline offers a “Bare Fare” ticket that allows travelers to get from point A to B at an “ultra-low” rate with one carry on item about the size of a backpack. There’s a $50 fee for travelers who purchase an additional carry-on item in advance, and a $55 fee for travelers who purchase an additional carry-on item at the gate, on the day of travel, according to Spirit Airlines.
So, it’s true that Spirit Airlines charges $55 for an additional carry-on item when the airline isn’t’ notified in advance, and $50 when it is.
It’s also true that Spirit Airlines does not offer military discounts for service members. Spirit Airlines explains, “Our fares are already very low, and we are unable to offer additional discounts.”
Spirit Airlines has drawn scrutiny in the past for refusing to offer military discounts to service members. Other airlines offer discounts on rates, free additional carry-on bags and complimentary wheel chair service for disabled service members, Fox News reports.
Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza has said that the airline offers an “al a cart” model of air fare to help educate customers about hidden costs that are included in other airline tickets — and to provide the cheapest option possible:
That’s where the term Bare Fare came up. We want to try to be more obvious to people that our fare is kind of a stripped-down naked fare. The idea of Bare Fare, simple as it sounds, should just in and of itself tell you that there’s something a little bit different about this than just a normal fare, and get people to understand a little better.
That’s just one small aspect of a broader initiative at Spirit in the way we talk to our customers on the website, the way we organize our airports, the language our reservations agents use, the way our airplanes look, the way we message to the media–all kinds of things. It’s all around a clearer understanding and more transparency around the true value proposition that Spirit offers, which is that we get you where you’re going for a lower price point, although they have to expect some compromise for that.
Oftentimes when travelers find out that perks that are included in other airline fares (like discounts for service members) are not included in Spirit Airlines ticket prices, they are often upset and file complaints. So, the basic idea of Spirit Airlines is that when you buy the cheapest airline ticket possible — you get what you pay for.
We’ve reached out to Spirit Airlines for comment on this rumor. Future updates will be posted here.