Spirit’s New Fee Waivers – Who Qualifies?

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Spirit Airlines waived fees.

There’s a sentence that will send fact-checkers scurrying to Snopes and conspiracy theorists digging deep. It’s true, though. As far as it goes.

Notorious nickel-and-dimer Spirit will indeed waive your fees. Bag fees, that is. If you’re an active member of the military.

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Specifically, military-service personnel will be allowed two free checked bags and one free carry-on, effectively immediately. According to the airline’s news release:

The best thing we can do for military members and their families is still to provide the lowest possible prices for air travel. After eight years of impressive growth as an ultra-low cost carrier, this is the first of many steps Spirit is taking to improve the overall customer experience. We’re thrilled to make this move to honor the brave men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedom.

Spirit has a new CEO, Robert Fornaro, who has vowed to improve the airline’s dismal ratings for customer service and operational reliability. If waiving bag fees for the military is a one-off, it will be exposed as a crass P.R. gimmick. But if this modest gesture is a sign of things to come, then there may be hope that the airline everyone loves to hate might at least become less hated.

Reader Reality Check

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and almost that long writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

This article first appeared on SmarterTravel.com, where Tim Winship is Editor-at-Large.

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