These days, airlines will do anything to make money – especially low-fare carriers that sell ridiculously inexpensive tickets and then try to make it up by charging for everything from assigned seating, printing your boarding pass, pre-boarding, water and of course, luggage. RELATED: Don’t Fly Frontier Airlines Unless You Know This

A passenger rips the wheels off his suitcase to avoid paying excess baggage fees.The fee that I’d say gets passengers most irate is the one some airlines require for use of the overhead bin. Passengers think they’re saving money on cheap airfare and then they get hit at the gate for trying to bring their carry-on bag on the plane. If you wait until the last minute to pay, some airlines charge up to $99 just to use the overhead bin. That’s sometimes twice as much as someone paid for their ticket.

Then there are budget travelers who end up on the news for going berserk because they didn’t read the fine print of their fare which might state, for example, that you can only bring a personal item on the plane and it has to fit underneath the seat in front of you.

You may have seen some crazy stories of passengers getting arrested here in the U.S., usually flying Frontier or Spirit Airlines, for flipping out on the gate agents for making them either pay extra fees or not board. It turns out, the gate agents earn commission for every passenger they get to pay the hefty fee. No wonder they are such sticklers and sometimes dishonest about it. I guess it’s all about the Benjamins for them.

In 2022, Shaun Hover broke his skateboard at the Spirit Airlines gate because they were trying to charge him $89 dollars, saying it was technically longer than their “personal item” dimensions. So he stomped the middle of the board with his foot, folded it in half, and tossed it into the carry-on bin to show that it fit. Video embedded below with the warning: “Don’t fly with Spirit Airlines.”

YouTube video

Unfortunately, this type of thing happens all over the world, including in Spain. In the viral video embedded below, a passenger rips the wheels off his tiny suitcase so it will fit flush in the airline’s baggage sizer. This was so he could avoid having to check it in with Ryanair and save €70 ($75 USD).

This wasn’t the first time and it won’t be the last a passenger on a European low-fare carrier destroys their luggage to avoid excess baggage fees. The viral video embedded below is of an Easy Jet passenger from August 2023. The man can be seen ripping the wheels and the handle off of his small suitcase in order to avoid excess fees.

YouTube video

FYI: Here are the bag dimensions of two of the most popular ultra low-fare carriers in the U.S. and Europe:

Frontier Airlines
Personal items can be no larger than 14” tall, 18” wide, and 8” long.

Spirit Airlines
Personal items must be 18 x 14 x 8 in (45 x 35 x 20 cm) or smaller.

Fares include one small personal bag which can be brought on board, such as a handbag or laptop bag measuring 40x20x25cm (15.7 x 7.8 x 9.8 in).

One small cabin bag per passenger, with maximum dimensions of 45 x 36 x 20 cm (17 x 14 x 8 in)

Reading and calculating all these dimensions will make your head spin. That’s why I appreciate airports like Seattle (SEA) that show all the airline’s required baggage dimensions since it’s not universal. See embedded photo below.

That’s why we recommend this bag when flying low-fare carriers. It’s easier to just save yourself all the hassle and headache.


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