Spirit Airlines made $55 in extra revenue per passenger last year.

Spirit Airlines makes a lot of its money in "non-ticket revenue." Photo: Spirit Airlines. 

Spirit Airlines makes a lot of its money in "non-ticket revenue." Photo: Spirit Airlines. 

In 2006, Spirit Airlines made $5 in extra revenue from each passenger. Back then, the airline essentially only made money only through ticket sales. 

But in the past nine years, Spirit has greatly changed its business model. Last year, Spirit made $55 in extra revenue for each passenger. 

If you've flown Spirit, you know the trick. Spirit levies fees for just about everything. There's the "passenger usage fee," a $17.99 fee assessed on almost every one-way fare to anyone who books online or via phone. Then there's the usual fees for baggage, including large carry-ons, and advanced seat assignments. 

Spirit also makes considerable non-ticket revenue from selling others extras, such as travel insurance, travel packages. Other areas of non-ticket revenue include on-board advertising and membership fees for Spirit's $9 fare club. 

According to Spirit's 2014 annual report, the airline made $786.6 million in fees last year. That's not quite as much Spirit made in ticket sales - It earned $1.14 billion in ticket revenue - but it's still a giant chunk of overall revenues. 

So how does this $786.6 million break down?

  • Baggage. $318.1 million
  • Passenger Usage Fee. $222 million
  • Advanced Seat Selection. $76.27 million
  • Service charges for changes and cancellations. $38.39 million
  • Other. $131.86 million.