How to get a free carry-on with Spirit Airlines

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Direct Link to the Spirit Airlines Booking Page.

About Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines is the 4th largest passenger airline in the United States. Spirit Airlines flies to 83 destinations across the United States, Caribbean and South America.

Spirit Airlines currently runs a fleet of 175 planes and transported 34.5 million passengers in 2019.

Spirit Airlines – The product

Spirit Airline prides itself with one of the youngest fleets in the United States. Spirit Airlines follows the ULCC (Ultra Low Cost Carrier) model and provides an ‘unbundled’ product. When you book the lowest fare on Spirit you typically just buy a seat – nothing else.

Spirit Airlines baggage policy

Spirit Airlines does not provide a free carry-on when you book their fares. Carry-ons and check in luggages will cost between $25 and $75 per leg of your journey.

Spirit Airlines allows for a free 'personal item' with these dimensions - 22 inches by 118 inches by 10 inches 56 x 46 x 25 cm).

Keep in mind that Spirit Airlines usually enforces this policy strictly and measures any bags.

The following items don't count toward the carry-on allowance and will not incur an extra charge:

  • Camera

  • Necessary prosthetic devices (for example, crutches and canes)

  • Guest assistive devices

  • Food to eat on the plane

  • Infant diaper bag

  • Infant or child car seats when a child is carried in the seat

  • Outer garments such as coats, hats and wraps

  • Reading material on flight

  • Strollers and car seats

  • Umbrella

  • Wheelchairs

How to get a free carry-on with Spirit Airlines?

1) Reduce your carry-on to the size of a Personal Item

How to get a free carry-on with Spirit Airlines

Did you know that there is a whole industry of roll-a-board bags that are designed to fit snug under the seat in front of you (and arecomplying with the Spirit Airlines baggage policy)?

2) Join the Free Spirit loyalty program and earn Gold status

Free Spirit Loyalty Members that reach the Gold Status get a complimentary checked and carry-on bag.

IN ADDITION they receive:

  • Free shortcut security and boarding

  • Same-day standby

  • Seat selection at check-in

  • Dedicated Guest care line

  • Pool points with friends and family

  • No flight redemption fees

  • Free Flight Flex (no modification charges within 24 hours before departure)

  • First checked and carry-on bag free

  • Seat selection at booking (including exit rows)

  • Free in-flight beverage and snacks

Gold Status comes when you reach 5,000 SQPs in the Free Spirit Loyalty Program.

3) Become Free Spirit Elite member through a status match

How to get a free carry-on with Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines provides a generous free status match program that allows you to match your current elite status with another airline and start at an elevated level with Spirit. Spirit currently matches the following elite status to the Gold Tier:

How to get a free carry-on with Spirit Airlines

4) Join the Spirit Saver$ Program

Spirit Airlines offers it’s Spirit Saver$ Program for $59.95 a year (renews at $69.95). The Spirit Saver$ Program allows you to get discounts of up to 50% on most bag fees. This won’t eliminate the bag fees entirely but brings them to a more reasonable level. Keep in mind that Spirit airfares are often 40%-80% below the competition.

5) Bring you active military documentation

Spirit Airlines offers free carry-on and two checked bags to active duty military members. To get the discount simply show your military ID at the airport.

6) Purchase baggage online (while booking and after)

Spirit Airlines (like many other discount airlines) deeply discounts baggage when purchased online as compared to when you are at the airport. If your trip is not today – go check under ‘Manage my Booking’ to see if you can add luggage.

7) Car Seats, Strollers and Diaper Bags

Spirit Airlines does not (as mandated by law) charge for any strollers or car seats (one per child). Generally staff will allow you to check a stroller including an affixed bag (however I would not overdo this) and make sure that the bag is directly attached to the stroller and will not be lost during the baggage handling.

Spirit Airlines also allows you to bring free diaper bag (if you travel with a baby!).

8) Use your American Express Airline Incidental credit to pay for luggage

If you choose Spirit as your preferred airline with American Express bag fees will be credited (up to $200 per calendar year) with American Express Cards that offer the credit (inc. the Platinum cards).

Keep in mind that the purchase needs to be separate from the ticket purchase. American Express is somewhat unclear if that purchase needs to be online or at the airport. Both should credit and American Express has been known to be customer friendly if you initiate an online chat and asked nicely for the credit should it not post automatically.

9) Consolidate bags

Not a free carry-on but consider buying one checked or carry-on bag and consolidate your whole family’s luggage into it (if multiple people are traveling).

10) Bring just food items

Airlines typically allow you to bring food items (to be consumed during the flight) if that all you need (and maybe a few T-Shirts as well) voila you can bring that as well. Keep in mind that a gate agent may disagree with your definition of a food/ shopping bag.

11) Stuff your winter coat

This is for the more desperate frugal out there – if you fly with a winter coat anyways – consider making user of the many pockets. My own winter coat has at least fifteen (some quite large) pockets. I can easily stuff most of my carry-on belonging in there.

Of course this will look somewhat silly when flying inside Florida but if the weather is cold on at least on side of your journey this isn’t usually a problem.

12) Buy a Big Front Seat?

Big Front Seat is the equivalent of a Domestic First Class seat. Spirit often sells it for as little as $19. This is a no -brainer and will also trigger the American Express incidentals credit.

Sadly the Big Front Seat does not come with a free baggage allowance.


There you have it – Spirit Airlines tickets can be a great deal. Getting a free carry-on can be tricky but not impossible!

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