Spirit Airlines Customers May Be Eligible for Bag Fee Settlement

The settlement will cover flyers who purchased a Spirit fare via an online travel agency from August 2011 to May 2017.
Profile photo of Sean Cudahy
Written by Sean Cudahy
Profile photo of Dawnielle Robinson-Walker
Assistant assigning editor at large
Fact Checked

Many, or all, of the products featured on this page are from our advertising partners who compensate us when you take certain actions on our website or click to take an action on their website. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.


Think back to the 2010s. Did you fly Spirit Airlines during that time? Did you book your ticket through a third-party online travel agency like Expedia or Travelocity? If so, you may be eligible for some money back.

As part of the settlement agreement of a class-action lawsuit, Spirit will pay up to $8.25 million to help customers recover fees paid for carry-on baggage. Certain passengers who booked tickets from 2011 to 2017 may be eligible for some cash.

After the agreement received preliminary approval from a federal judge in September, customers can now submit a claim online to opt into the lawsuit, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs. If you think you may be eligible, you should act fact. The deadline to submit a claim is Jan. 10.

Here’s what you should know if you think you might be one of the affected customers.

Why was Spirit Airlines sued?

The settlement deal involving Spirit Airlines stems from a class-action lawsuit filed Aug. 31, 2017, on behalf of passengers who booked tickets on Spirit through online travel agencies.

The lawsuit accused the airline of “bait-and-switch” tactics. It said Spirit lured people with discounted fares “designed to confuse, trick and trap customers." Specifically, the lawsuit said Spirit essentially charged people surprise carry-on bag fees they wouldn’t have known about as first-time Spirit flyers.

“Spirit makes up whatever discount it purports to give consumers in fraudulent and unwarranted charges,” the lawsuit said, accusing the airline of misleading consumers “into believing they are purchasing low airfare.”

As regular budget airline customers know, the ticket price is only part of what you ultimately end up paying. As you go through the booking process, fees are added for things such as seat selection and carry-on bags — a tactic known as "drip pricing."

Who would be eligible?

Six years of legal maneuvering preceded a settlement agreement on Aug. 23. Court documents reviewed by NerdWallet show Spirit has agreed to pay up to $8.25 million to customers.

According to the documents (pending a judge’s final approval), you may be eligible if you purchased a Spirit ticket through one of six online travel agencies from Aug. 31, 2011, to May 3, 2017. Those agencies are:

  • Travelocity.

  • Kiwi.

  • CheapOair.

  • Cheap Tickets.

  • Bookit.

Passengers who can establish that they were affected may be eligible for payments of up to 75% of the carry-on baggage fees paid — although the exact percentage will depend on how many people make claims.

The Angeion Group, a settlement administration company, would serve as administrators according to court records. The company plans to alert eligible customers via e-mail addresses from Spirit, then it will try mail and mass social media campaigns.

That outreach should contain information on how to apply as a potential claimant on a website the company plans to set up.

(Top photo courtesy of Spirit Airlines)

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024:

Travel Cards from Our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro offer

Up to $300

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.


Intro offer


Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening - that’s equal to $1,000 in travel.

See more travel cards
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.