Spirit Airlines, which already charges passengers for carry-on bags, will begin charging passengers $5 per person if an airport agent prints their boarding passes.
The policy kicks into gear today for travel Nov. 1, 2011, and beyond for both domestic and international flights nonstop flights.
The airline, which flies in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, says it will waive the fee for airports where it doesn't have check-in kiosks or if the traveler is unable to use the kiosk to print a boarding pass.
And, a year from now, beginning June 26, 2012, Spirit Airlines will start charging $1 to print boarding passes in its airport kiosks, the company says.
Checking in and printing a boarding pass online will continue to be free, Spirit says.
The airline provides a somewhat contorted explanation for the boarding pass printing fees.
Spirit Airlines says it is reducing fares $5 each way so passengers will end up saving $5 if they check in online.
"As a result, those who prefer having an agent print their boarding pass will see no change in their total price," the airline says. "And those who check in online or at an airport kiosk will save."
"We believe it is important to let customers decide what is of value to them," says Ben Baldanza, president and CEO. "We want to give them the ability to choose the extras they want without forcing them to pay for add-ons they don't want or need."