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Spirit Airlines Takes Flight From DIA, Claims Low Fares

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4)- A new airline has landed at Denver International Airport: Spirit Airlines. The carrier claims to be a low-fare option for travelers.

Consumer advocates agree the new airline will keep air fares competitive at DIA but advise that it’s always best to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Spirit Airlines landed in Denver with a lot of fanfare. It’s offering nonstop service to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas.

The discount airline is also offering connections to more than 30 additional cities within the U.S., Caribbean and Latin America.

“We have a new business model. We’re an ultra low fare carrier. We offer very low fares to people to get to the places that they want to go,” said Spirit Airlines Senior Director Michael Pewther.

Spirit Airlines bills itself as a discount airline but it does have a lot of hidden fees.

The airline announced on Wednesday that they will increase what they charge passengers for carry-on luggage at the gate. That charge will be $100 starting in November.

Right now the charge for any bag placed in the overhead bin is $45 if passengers pay for it at the gate. It’s $30-$35 if they pay in advance online or on the phone.

“Our model is new to some people and we charge a very low fare and then we charge for additional items that you might value. If you need to check a bag, we’ll charge you for that,” said Pewther.

Not all passengers are happy about what they consider additional charges.

“You have to pay additional fees here, there and everywhere and it’s ridiculous,” said Spirit Airlines traveler Kyla Finlayson.

“Spirit was actually the first airline to charge for checked baggage many years ago. And guess what happened, all the other airlines followed suit. Now they charge $45 for a carry-on bag,” said CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg. “So you know why they’re going to charge $100 because someone is willing to pay for it.”

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