Spirit Airlines Adds $5 Boarding Pass Fee

USA Today: Spirit Airlines says it will begin charging customers $5 to have their boarding pass printed by an airport agent. Customers can avoid a fee by checking in online or -- for a few more months -- by using a self-service airport kiosk.

Similar to other fee announcements the carrier has made in the past, Spirit justified the new fee by claiming it would lower its fares by the same amount to offset the charge.

"If you choose to check in online you will save more than ever before," Spirit marketing chief Barry Biffle says in a release. "If you choose to continue checking in with an agent you will see your fare go down as much as the new fee. It's a win-win for everyone: more ways to save and only charging customers for services they actually use."

"We believe it is important to let customers decide what is of value to them. We want to give them the ability to choose the extras they want without forcing them to pay for add-ons they don't want or need," Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza adds in the same release. "Why would you want to pay for services you don't use?"

However, checking-in via Spirit's self-service kiosks won't remain free in the future.

Spirit says beginning June 26, 2012, customers who use airport kiosks to print their boarding passes will be charged $1. The airline will (waive) the boarding-pass fee "in cities where Spirit does not have airport check-in kiosks or if a customer is not able to use the automated kiosk to print their boarding pass."

Spirit, of course, has earned a reputation in recent years as one of America's most fee-heavy airlines. Among the carrier's charges is a fee of up to $35 for fliers who have to place their bags in overhead storage bins.


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