How I Survived Spirit Airlines
Updated: Feb 7, 2019
First off, let me start by saying I am an avid Spirit hater. It's a budget airline that is a BUDGET airline. Rode them quite a few times as a broke college student trying to get away but i gave it up when my bank acct gained a few coins. Well, years later, coin less (don't judge me), i started Budget Behavior and figured i need to see what Spirit is about in 2018. I was gonna stop at just telling you about this often unreliable operation but when I saw this $62 RT flight deal to Minneapolis, the cheap discount queen in me couldn't pass it up. So let me tell u how I survived Spirit Airlines on budget.
Bought my ticket at airport: Spirit Airlines online tickets include an added $18-20 ‘passenger usage fee’ charge. Avoid this unnecessary fee if possible! When you see a deal online, head to the nearest airport to purchase and you're guaranteed to come out $20-$40+ cheaper by deducting that charge from your purchase. You also risk the chance of scoring a penny flight. Yes! A flight for pennies, plus tax! Worth the risk. However, this is not guaranteed as the plane can still sell out and sometimes the flight may be online booking only. Nevertheless, if you are near an airport, do it! My flight was listed for $102.39 total online. This frugal travel girl sure did walk away from the airport with this same ticket for $62.42. That's almost $40 in savings. CHA-CHING!!!
Brought only a book bag: Spirit Airlines charges $35 for carry on and $30 for checked bags. Personal items (standard backpack size) are free. If you purchase your ticket at the airport, bag prices increase to $40, defeats the purpose of a deal. No Thank You! Pack light and travel heavy!
Brought my own water & snacks: If oxygen weren't unlimited, Spirit Airlines would probably give it a price tag. I recommend you bring your own snacks and an empty water bottle. Filling up an empty bottle is easy and adding a few small snacks barely take up valued space. This technique beats paying $8 for a mini Dasani and fruit snacks on the plane. Every little bit of savings helps.
Remained Hopeful and Optimistic about random seat selection:
Spirit typically charges $10-20 each way to pick your own seat. However, this service is optional and only beneficial when you must have a specific seat on the plane. If it’s a long flight, may be worth the perfect seat selection. However, for short trips, you could probably handle the worst seat ever for a few hours. I normally hate to sit in the middle but to save approximately $20-40, I chose the random seat selection for free. Guess what? Optimism worked out, got a window seat round trip! SCORE! I do recommend purchasing the "Big Front Seat" if you are tall or prefer extra legroom and a wider seat up front.
Spirit Airlines used to be known for holding record of the worst on-time performance. You could almost always guarantee that your flight would be delayed when flying with Spirit. I have absolutely zero patience but when I heard Spirit had gotten waaaay better, I decided to take the risk! Low and behold, both flights were on time and Spirit is actually ranked in the top 5 for on-time US flight performances in 2018.
Remained Kind: Just in case the stewardess was in a giving mood, I wanted to be on the receiving end. I also think the planes are cheaply made so it's probably smart to be nice to the pilot. But to be honest, the planes are a lot better than they used to be. I didn't feel like I was going to fall out the sky or need to help push it down the runway this time. PROGRESS!!
Overall, Spirit Airlines has definitely improved and will continue to do so, so I’ve read. As long as you understand bare fare and remain open-minded for different ways to save, Spirit will excite you and get you there safely and for cheap! These techniques helped me enjoy and stick to the budget for my $62 flight while remaining comfortable and purchasing nothing additional. I must say, it was worth the budget after all. Last but not least, Spirit has signed an agreement to have high-speed Wi-Fi installed on its entire fleet by 2019. I was not on a Wi-Fi accessible flight but I’m excited to go back and try texting from 30,000 feet. I recommend you all try the new and improved ‘Spirit Effect’.
Have you flown on the new and improved Spirit Airlines? How was your experience?