Spirit Airlines Not Changing Size of Free Carry-On After All

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Last week I was researching some options for my parents on their ski trip flying Spirit Airlines so they could spend as little as possible on checked or carry-on bags since we weren’t sure if they would be able to pack solely in their free personal carry-ons. While doing that I saw on Spirit Airline’s website that they would be changing the allowed size of their free carry-on personal items effective April 1, 2016.

The changes were going to take the personal items fromĀ 16 x 14 x 12 down to 17 x 13 x 8 inches including handles and wheels. Overall that would be a reduction in size, so certainly not good news for those who like to maximize what they bring on Spirit Airlines for free.

However, in the last couple of days I have started to get some questions from readers about where the changes are posted online. When I went to look today I couldn’t find the changes either, and then I received an email from a Spirit representative stating the following:

We had been preparing for a potential change in personal item sizes, however we decided a few weeks ago not to implement that change. While we always like to encourage passengers to carry less, we will continue to offer the largest personal size item of any ultra-low cost carrier. You can find all the latest info here: https://customersupport.spirit.com/hc/en-us/articles/202096476-What-are-the-size-and-weight-limits-for-bags-

So, there you have it. Spirit Airlines will continue to offer the “largest free personal size item of the ultra-low-cost-carriers”. For reference, Frontier Airlines free personal item is allowed to be 8 x 14 x 18, which is indeed smaller overall than Spirit’s allowance.

Oh, and my parents were ultimately able to pack for their ski trip (complete with $25 dollar per day lift tickets) in their free personal items on their 2,500 mile Spirit Airlines award flights. Now that is budget travel!

Spirit Bags



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  1. Wow! Very impressive that your parents were able to pack for their ski trip with only a personal item. Would love to see their packing lists.

  2. Thank you so much for the posting that Spirit will still allow the old 12x14x16″ personal item again. I was on my way out shopping when I thought to see if anyone posted actual bags and items that would fit the 8x13x18 (?) size they had changed to when I saw the posting.

  3. I’m reading this July 27, 2016 and I just noticed on their website it looks like they will be implementing the change in April 2017. As of today, the baggage rules page on their site has this note:

    For Travel April 4, 2017 & Beyond:
    Personal item (e.g., purse, small backpack, etc.): Dimensions must not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm) including handles and wheels.

    • Thank you for advising us of this disgusting update. Here we go again. Since JetBlue is already in that range (17x13x8) I suppose it was inevitable. My prescriptions will almost fill a personal item by itself.

      So now I need to know if anyone can identify specific items that will be this size. Spirit should provide that info – with only 8″ as one dimension.

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