My first experience on Spirit Airlines was a round-trip flight/hotel combo I booked for my Myrtle Beach vacation. It was for two people in which we split costs in half. My half of the pie was $386.30 total for a 3-night ocean front hotel stay, and round-trip flight. Just perfect. That is why I chose Spirit Airlines!
Although, there are quite a few people who are hesitant to fly with Spirit Airlines. Mostly due to the reviews about “hidden fees” and because the airline is not well known. So I decided to find out for myself. Here is what I can tell you about Spirit Airlines from experience and research.
1. Crash rate
This is by far the most important thing I am worried about. Will I make it there and back home alive? I am happy to report since operation in 1992, Spirit Airlines as a ZERO crash rate. No one has died. Yay!
After hours of searching, there was no other airline cheaper than Spirit for my trip. They are indeed one of the cheapest (if not cheapest) you are going to find under the parameters of where they fly. Click here for the map of where they fly.
Please note when you are searching for flights, Spirit list the price for their $9 Fare Club as well as the standard price. If you are not interested in joining, make sure you select the flight option that is not for the fare club. Unless you want to take advantage of the membership.
Currently, the club is $59.95 for the year when you initially sign up, then after a year $69.95 per year. BUT, you can do a two month trial when you initially book a flight for $19.95. That is especially beneficial if you are booking more than one flight. Click here for more details on the $9 Fare Club.
3. Boarding Pass
Currently it is free to print your boarding pass online from home. This is what I did. They will charge you $2 to print at the airport kiosk and $10 to print by an airport agent. I printed my boarding pass, but on the way back I had no printer. To my surprise the Myrtle Beach airport kiosk did not charge to print. Moral of the story, if you can, print at home. Otherwise, don’t sweat it. The most extra you would pay is $2 extra.
This is where Spirit makes up for their low cost flights. If you are not prepared ahead of time in regards to baggage, you will end up paying extra for sure.
Personal item. You’re allowed one free personal item such as a purse or a small backpack that does not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches. For shorter trips, you can probably fit everything in a small backpack and end up paying nothing extra.
Carry on bag. You pay. At online booking, it costs $35 for a carry-on bag that does not exceed 22 x 18 x 10 inches. During online check-in $45, and at the airport $55.
Checked bag. You pay. At online booking, it cost $30 for a checked bag that does not exceed 62 linear inches and 40 lbs. During online check-in is $40, and at the airport $55. In addition if your bag exceeds 40 lbs, it is $30 extra. If it exceeds 50 lbs, it is $55 extra and so on. You can find out more about their baggage policy here.
Another way Spirit makes up for the discounted prices. Spirit does not offer complimentary food or beverage. You pay. They only accept credit cards on board, so make sure you have one with you. You can take a look at their menu here. The prices are decent. I’d say bring some cash with you as backup because you never know what will happen to their payment system.
The seats were leather and cozy. It has about the same legroom as Southwest or Jet Blue. I fell asleep on my flight back. No problems with seat comfort or leg room.
You can opt to assign your own seating starting at $5. If not, Spirit will randomly assign your seat. Of course, I chose to not pay extra and they “randomly” assigned our seats right next to each other.
The staff was very professional. They gave the normal presentation of the safety procedures. Came by and took our orders. Discount fare does not mean discount employees with Spirit Airlines.
So how did I manage? We combined our belongings into one suitcase having to check in one bag ($35 split between two). Also, I weighed it with my Camry 110 Lbs Luggage Scale to make sure it did not exceed 40 lbs. I also took a small backpack as my personal item and filled it with extra stuff. We checked in early, and printed my boarding pass for my outbound flight.
There you have it. The “hidden fees” are no longer hidden anymore. So go ahead and book Spirit Airlines if it makes sense for your travel plans. You may also find a good deal for an hotel as I did. Safe travels!