Spirit Airlines will begin charging some travelers $100 for carry-on bags that require overhead bin space, more than doubling its current $45 fee. It's the largest such fee charged by any airline for either a carry-on or checked bag.
The $100 fee will apply only to bags that are handled last minute at the gate. A small bag that fits underneath the seat will still be free.
The fee hike could encourage passengers to check bags in advance at the airline's ticket counter,where the fee would range from $45 to $50, and effectively reduce delays at security checkpoints because there are fewer bags that need to be screened to carry on board.
"We don’t want any of our customers to wait until they get to the boarding gate to pay for their carry-on bags as this delays the boarding process for everyone," Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson tells CNBC.com in an e-mail. "We expect that our new $100 fee charged for those who wait until they get to the gate will ensure that customers purchase their bags before arriving at the gate."