Like most people, I was looking for a flight and was drawn to the low prices of Spirit Airlines. A round trip from Detroit to Ft. Lauderdale cost me just $130! But of course, I’ve heard many many negative reviews about their hidden fees. But to my surprise, these fees were not hidden at all. I took the time to weigh my opinions. Here’s what I found.
Flight are offered as a “bare fare”. This means the price you see for the flight is just for the flight and nothing else. No luggage, no carry on, no in-flight snacks or beverages. You will be charged for everything, so you have to be smart to avoid being that person that complains about Spirit because they failed to read the 20pt bold fine print.
Last week I flew to Ft. Lauderdale for a 2-day stay. I was able to get all my clothes and such in a backpack that was within their allotted dimensions. “Your Bare Fare® includes one personal item, one that can fit entirely into an 18″ x 14″ x 8″ size box.” Now you will definitely have to be strategic when packing if you go this route. It’s definitely easier to do if you’re traveling to somewhere warm. The lighter you have to dress, the fewer clothes you have to pack. It will also depend on how many days your trip is. I had a late flight so I decided that I would just wear the same thing I flew in with as I would flying back out. I only had it on for a couple of hours. I also wore a hoodie, a jacket, a pair of converse. Everything else went in my backpack.
What I packed for my 2-day stay:
2 tank tops
2 pairs of flip flops
Small crossbody purse
1 face/body bar soap
1 travel face/body moisture
1 Lip gloss
As you can see, I had a very minimal wardrobe. It felt kind of good not to overpack, like I usually do. Not having so much to choose from takes out a lot of the stress of trying to figure out what you want to wear. And you’re not feeling what you’ve packed there’s a Target in almost every city. Keeping toiletries and beauty products to a minimum will also help. Use travel tubes when you can.
To avoid check-in fees ($10 to print each boarding pass.), check in and print your boarding pass at home. If you don’t have access to a printer, just opt for the e-boarding pass to be emailed to you. By doing this you will also avoid having to wait in a long line to check in. Just go straight to the security line!
Spirit Airlines does not provide any inflight complimentary services, such as drinks and snacks. A lot of people seem to have a really big problem with not getting a tiny bag of pretzels and a half cup of soda on a two-hour flight. Is it really that serious? No for me. I brought a small bag of roasted almonds, an orange, and bought a coffee at the airport to hold me over till I got to my destination. And let’s not forget, you can always eat before heading to the airport. It’s really that simple.
When checking in, you will have the option to pick a seat but will cost you up to $50. If you don’t mind risking sitting in a less desired seat choice, or you don’t mind not sitting with the person you’re traveling with, let Spirit pick your seat and avoid the fee. The seats are pretty close but definitely not uncomfortably close, at least not for me. I was actually surprised at how much room I actually had. If you’re a taller individual, I could see it being a problem. You might want to upgrade to an oversized seat. This upcharge will run you an additional $12-150 if booked in advance.
Another complaint I’ve heard about Spirit is their frequent delays. My flight was actually delayed, but to be fair so was a few other airlines. I definitely understand that things happen and they can’t control the weather. I’d much rather get to my destination safely if it means to wait a couple of hours. If potential delays are a concern, book your flight according and allow time to get to where you’re getting on time, even if it means getting there hours before you need to. I would definitely suggest not getting on the last flight and choose the earliest flight as possible.
To even further you saving, join their $9 Fare Club. For an annual fee of $59, you’ll have access to their lowest available fares and discounted online bag prices. These savings also covers everyone on your booking. Read about it HERE.
In my opinion, Spirit Airlines is very upfront about their fees. If you take the time to read their rules and restrictions carefully, you won’t be surprised with additional fees at the airport. It’s that simple.
My first flight with Spirit was a pleasant one. I would definitely fly with them again. The flight crew was lively and very nice. I sat next to nice people. The planes were very clean. Other than the flight delay, everything went as good as it would on any other airline. I look forward to booking my next flight.