You’ve been checking those fares, checking them twice even! That great rate seems to good to be true. Is it? Well in the case of Spirit Airlines, it just may be.

I realize that is a pretty open ended question, but let me elaborate.

As a blogger nd travel agent, I am currently looking for the shortest and cheapest way to get to port cities such as Miami and Orlando. Being that I am flying out of Edmonton International Airport, that can be quite the feat.

Fortunately, Canadians have been blessed in recent years with a handful of discount airlines that fly direct to hot spots such as Las Vegas and Phoenix. This is where the tomfoolery comes in!

While I can catch a quick flight to Vegas for around $100 CAD fairly regularly, I shop around for the next leg checking airlines such as Frontier, Spirit and others. On a recent endeavor I spotted a great direct flight from LAS to MIA for a great rate. I prepaid for one checked bag and was ready to roll. We left Edmonton on time with one checked bag on Flair Airlines. A checked bag on Flair runs you around $49 CAD. Not bad. We land in Vegas and head for our connection on Spirit bound for Miami.

This is when things go awry. We follow the lineup to place our same checked bag on to the automated luggage belt system that Spirit relies on. It immediately goes red. Imagine our confusion as we had prepaid for a bag. The unhelpful attendant comes to assist and informs us that baggage weight is over the limit. How can that be? We have not so much as opened the bag since leave home. It was fine on Flair but now it is not on Spirit. What’s up with that?

This is the gotcha. While virtually every other airline has a checked bag weight limit of 50 pounds, Spirit’s limit is 40 pounds! Yup. 40. The cost for a 50 pound bag? An ADDITIONAL $99 USD. That is just flat out robbery! In total we paid $62 + $133 (99 USD to CAD) for a whopping total of $195 CAD for ONE checked bag!

That cheap flight is not so cheap anymore. In fact, that price ended up higher than if we had flown the multitude of competing flights.

I have yet to find any other airline with a 40 pound limit. If you know of one, please let me know so we can let travelers know!

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