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Spirit Airlines Review

Let’s face it, airline tickets can break the bank. So, when the travel bug bites and my wallet whimpers, Spirit Airlines often enters the picture. They’re known for their ultra-low fares, but are they worth the price tag? As a seasoned traveler, I decided to share my guide to Spirit Airlines and my honest Spirit Airlines review to help you decide if Spirit Airlines is a good fit for your next adventure.

Why is Spirit Airlines so cheap?

Spirit Airlines’ ability to offer significantly cheaper fares is due to a strategic combination of cost-cutting measures and a unique pricing model.Spirit eliminates complimentary services like snacks, drinks, in-flight entertainment, and even seat selection, forcing passengers to pay extra for these amenities.

  • Young and efficient fleet: Newer aircraft require less maintenance, reducing operational costs.
  • Fuel efficiency: They prioritize fuel-efficient Airbus A320 family aircraft.
  • Quick turnarounds: Shorter ground times between flights maximize aircraft utilization.
  • Secondary airports: Landing fees are often lower at less congested airports used by Spirit.
  • Staffing: While competitive pay exists, the company has optimized staffing levels to reduce onboard and ground personnel costs.

Unique Pricing Model:

  • Base fare transparency: The initial ticket price reflects the true cost of operating the flight, excluding most amenities.
  • A la carte pricing: Passengers pay separately for desired add-ons like carry-on luggage, checked bags, seat selection, and even water onboard.
  • Incentives for early booking: Discounts are offered for booking flights and add-ons well in advance.

The Trade-off:

While these strategies allow Spirit to offer lower fares, there are downsides:

  • Hidden costs: The final price after adding desired amenities can rise significantly.
  • Limited legroom and onboard experience: The focus on efficiency can affect comfort and entertainment options.
  • Potential delays: Quick turnarounds and lower staffing levels can sometimes lead to delays.

Conclusion:

Spirit Airlines’ affordability comes at a cost. Consider your priorities and budget carefully before deciding if their no-frills model aligns with your travel needs. If you’re flexible with luggage, seating, and entertainment and prioritize getting from point A to point B cheaply, Spirit may be a good option. However, if comfort, included amenities, and a smoother travel experience are essential, another airline might be a better fit

The Bare Bones Basics:

Spirit Airlines operates primarily in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean. Its goal is to keep costs low, which means no frills. Forget free snacks, seat assignments, or even carry-on baggage included in your base fare. These come at an additional cost, sometimes significantly increasing the ticket price.

Spirit Airlines Baggage Fees

Your ticket comes with one personal item for free, such as a laptop bag or purse smaller than
18″x14″x8″.  Be sure to make sure your personal item falls in the measurements, as Spirit can charge you if it is more, especially if you get to the gate. Spirit Airlines baggage fees depend on a few factors, and it’s always best to check the fees while purchasing. The fees depend on when you buy, pay for it, if you are a member of the Saver$ club, and more. It’s always best to pay for the bag when purchasing the ticket, as it gets more expensive along the way.  I am used to airlines giving a 50 lb limit included in costs, but Spirit Airlines considers bags to be overweight, starting at 41 lbs. So if your bag weighs more than 40lb be prepared to pay overweight fees.

Spirit overweight fees are:

  • 41 – 50 lbs. (18 – 23 kg) + $79
  • 51 – 100 lbs. (23 – 45 kg)+ $125
  • 63-80 linear inches (158-203 cm) + $150
  • Special items over 80 linear inches (203 cm)  $150

Is Spirit Airlines Safe?

While Spirit Airlines is an ultra-low-cost carrier, safety should always be a top priority when choosing an airline. Here’s a breakdown of Spirit’s safety record and factors to consider:

Safety Record:

Spirit Airlines maintains an ok safety record. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently rates Spirit Airlines as a Two-Star Airline in their Airline Safety Rating system. This rating is based on FAA inspections and audits and considers factors like airworthiness, maintenance, and pilot certification.

AirlineRatings.com, an independent airline safety and product rating website, currently grants Spirit Airlines a 6 out of 7-star safety ratin

Additional Points:

  • Fleet Age: Spirit operates a relatively young fleet with an average aircraft age of just over six years, which can contribute to fewer technical issues.
  • Maintenance: All airlines in the US, including Spirit, are required to adhere to strict FAA maintenance regulations.

Conclusion:

While Spirit Airlines operates as a budget airline, their safety record is comparable to many other major airlines in the US. However, safety is an ongoing process, and it’s crucial to stay informed and do your own research before making a decision. Here are some resources to help you:

My Spirit Airlines Experience:

Pros:

  • Unbeatable prices: Let’s be real, the main draw is the affordability. My recent flight was significantly cheaper than competitors on the same route.
  • On-time performance: My flight departed and arrived as scheduled, which is always a plus.
  • Clean and comfortable cabin: Despite being a budget airline, the plane was clean and the seats were reasonably comfortable for a short flight.
  • Friendly crew: The flight attendants were efficient and friendly, which made the experience pleasant.

Cons:

  • Add-on costs: As mentioned, everything except the seat itself comes with an extra fee. Be prepared to pay for carry-on luggage, checked bags, seat selection, and even water! This can quickly make the “cheap” ticket not so cheap.
  • Limited legroom: The legroom is definitely on the tight side, especially for taller passengers. If this is a concern, consider paying for an upgrade.
  • No entertainment: No in-flight entertainment is offered, so pack your own distractions if needed.
  • Basic amenities: Expect minimal amenities like limited overhead storage and no seat pockets.

The Verdict:

Spirit Airlines is a good option for budget-conscious travelers who are willing to sacrifice some amenities for a cheaper fare. Be aware of the hidden costs and factor them into your decision. If you’re flexible with luggage, seating, and don’t mind packing your own entertainment, Spirit can be a viable choice. However, if you prioritize comfort, extra legroom, and included amenities, other airlines might be a better fit.

Remember: My experience is just one piece of the puzzle. Be sure to read other reviews, compare prices across airlines, and weigh your priorities before booking your next flight. Happy (and hopefully affordable) travels!

Yes, I admit I have flown with Spirit Airlines. I flew out of FLL to ATL via Spirit Airlines and it was not because I wanted to save money. Prior to my booking I saw tweets about the excessive baggage fees and the fact that they sell Funyuns and Ramen noodles makes it soul plane-ish. While looking at flights I needed to leave in the evening and unfortunately the only flight available was on Spirit. The base flight cost for a one way FLL-ATL was $63.09 purchased less than a week prior. Paying for a checked bag an additional $30. It was about the same as Delta but like I said I needed a certain time.

The booking process was a little sketchy, it took me a couple of times as the system kept timing out. I thought, is that you God? I finally purchased and read the print about printing boarding pass to avoid paying extra fees. I was able to print at the hotel. Easy.

Flight

My flight was delayed I think I got home close to 2 hrs later than expected. That was not good due to a tight schedule I was on for the next day. Also I rushed to airport when I could have taken extra time. The boarding process was kind of confusing but I think it may be because it was my first time. Once on the plane it was clean, staff was nice. Now the seats were tight but not as tight as I expected. I was more so uncomfortable on the back. Thank God the flight was under 2 hrs. I glanced at the menu and there was definitely Raman noodles. I didn’t take any pics due to the late flight and just tired.

All in all it was better than expected, if I had packed better and there wasn’t a delay I’d be ok. If you are going to travel via Spirit Airlines, keep these things in mind:

-Prepare for delays

Prepay for bags and know the weight limits. Weigh the bag before leaving and give yourself enough space for additional things brought during the trip.

-Bring a pillow for your back or additional comfort.

-Bring your own snacks if needed on carry on.

Would I fly spirit again? Meh (read as no). If I wasn’t in a hurry and found a decent cost for a short trip. I was kind of embarrassed to book the flight, but I’m a travel writer, and I’m here to report on all things related to travel! Sure, it may not always be glamorous, but the main goal is to travel well. Becoming well-traveled can mean whatever fits your budget, schedule, or preferences. The main end goal is TRAVEL!

Would you fly Spirit Airlines? If you already have, what’s been your recent experience?

A review of a quick U.S. Spirit Airlines Flight
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