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That's the spirit: make procrastinators pay

Low-cost, no-frills U.S. airline wants passengers to pay earlier, pay more

Spirit Airlines will punish procrastinators by charging $100 for travellers who wait to pay for their carry-on bags until they get to the gate.

The higher charge will begin Nov. 6, Spirit announced this week. The fee has been $45.

Spirit and Allegiant are the only airlines in the U.S. that charge for carry-on bags.

Spirit's rationale? It aims to make customers so wary of the steep fee that all will pay ahead of time. However, Spirit is also raising other bag fees effective Nov. 6. A carry-on bag paid for at booking will be $35, up from $30; a carry-on bag paid for at the airport check-in counter will be $50, up from $40.

All these moves are an extension of the ultra-low-fare, bare-bones carrier reputation that the Miramar, Florida-based airline embraces. Its business model is based on charging low ticket fares but adding on fees and charges for reserved seats and baggage.

The U.S. government has fined Spirit several times for violating price and customer service regulations.

The most recent was in January, when the Department of Transportation fined the airline $100,000 for failing to keep track of or respond to complaints from disabled passengers. Last year, the department fined Spirit $50,000 for deceptive pricing on its advertising and tweets.

- McClatchy Tribune News Service


Officials in Las Vegas have adopted an anti-littering ordinance aimed at cleaning semi-pornographic ads from Las Vegas Strip sidewalks.

Clark County commissioners unanimously approved a rule this week that makes handbillers responsible when people toss their ads to the ground.

The ordinance says cleanup within an eight-metre radius of the hand-biller must happen every 15 minutes.

Commissioners have been considering ways to spruce up the tourist district, where portions of the sidewalk and streets are covered with business card-size-ads for escort services. Handbillers often slap the cards against their hands and push them toward passersby.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada has opposed the new rule, saying it will likely be selectively enforced to target handbillers but let tourists off easy.