This airline is shrinking the size of free carry-on bags

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This airline is shrinking the size of free carry-on bags
Image Credit: Clark Howard
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A personal item is one of the few things that Spirit Airlines doesn’t charge extra for, but the size of that complimentary carry-on is shrinking by a quarter! 

Read more: The best day of the week to book a cheap flight

Spirit is reducing free personal item size 

Spirit travelers are currently allowed to bring items like a purse, backpack or bag free of charge if it measures no more than 16 x 14 x 12 inches.

But starting April 4, dimensions for a personal item must not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches. 

This airline is shrinking the size of free carry-on bags

Clark says that the tiny bag he takes on budget airlines is 16 x 12 x 8 inches, so it makes it under Spirit’s new rule. However, he said his bag may be too fat if he packs it full.

Spirit already charges for larger carry-on and checked bags. Any oversized personal item will result in an extra fee. 

This airline is shrinking the size of free carry-on bags

Spirit is making this change as Delta, United and American debut or expand no-frills “basic economy” fares that may remind some travelers of the flying experience that discount carriers offer.

For example, here are the basic economy restrictions on Delta:

  • Seats assigned after check-in
  • Customers board last
  • No group and family seating 
  • Tickets are non-refundable
  • Tickets cannot be changed
  • Not eligible for upgrades

American and United take it a step further than Delta by restricting access to overhead bins and not permitting full-sized carry-on bags. 

Read more: Use this packing trick to avoid a checked bag fee

How to get the cheapest airfare

To get the lowest ticket price, Clark recommends starting with Kayak. After entering your to and from destinations, be sure to include nearby airports and flexible dates to see when fares are rock bottom.

This airline is shrinking the size of free carry-on bags

Next, go Google.com/flights and select the ‘track prices’ option for your desired trip. Switch it to ‘on’ and receive email updates when the price changes! 

This airline is shrinking the size of free carry-on bags

As a general rule, airfares tend to be the cheapest on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. You can save money by booking your ticket at least 21 days in advance.

Read more: The #1 rule of cheap travel

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Michael Timmermann paid off his mortgage in two years. Now, he shares his money-saving tips on his blog, MichaelSaves.com.
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