Spirit Airlines - Know What You Are Getting
My first experience with Spirit Airlines was when I worked at Walt Disney World as a concierge. A frantic guest came to the desk begging for me to print their boarding passes for them. This was a normal request and I didn’t completely understand the intensity of the guest on this issue…that is until I tried to print them.
You could only print them by logging into the website, there was no way to print by the confirmation number, and as a cast member I was not allowed to ask the guest for their password. I told the guest this and they explained that they had to print them before they left because if the did not, they would be charged to print them at the airport. I had never heard of this practice and was shocked. I went to a supervisor and we figured out a way for the guest to print them.
After this, I ran into issue after issue with Spirit, from guests complaining about the baggage fees to having to pay extra to sit together. I was quite jaded from the experiences that I had seen others have with this airline and automatically wrote it off as an option for travel.
Fast forward a few years to a recent trip that Mike and I made. It was rather last minute and flights were astronomically expensive. He was very adamant about going and after more searching found flights for $125 per person round trip. Down side - it was with Spirit.
I brought up my concerns about the issues I’ve heard of in the past, but he said he would take care of it and I decided to just go in with an open mind as this trip was so important to him.
First fees we ran into was for baggage. We easily remedied this by packing what we needed in bookbags. Since it was a short weekend, we were able to do this.
The next fee was in order to sit together. You could sit at random on the plane or pay money to sit next to the person you are going with. We chose to sit together, so we decided to pay the fee for that. As it turns out, it seems like this is not a big deal. If the plane is not full, the crews on both of our flights were fine with people moving after takeoff and the seatbelt sign was turned off.
The fee I thought would be the biggest issue was the boarding pass printing fees. The fees still exist, but Spirit now has an app that allows you to check in and store your boarding pass right on your phone for free. I found the app to work great on both flights and was impressed how smoothly everything went.
Since the fees were not as big of a deal as I thought, you may be wondering how the plane and airline is overall. It definitely is a budget airline, but for those of us who are just looking for something to get us safely from point A to point B, it gets the job done.
The regular cabin seats do feel a bit small and are not the most comfortable. It seems the cloth has as little cushion as possible and we could not find a way to put the seats back. The tray tables are tiny and metal and do not have a locking mechanism; a feature that would help on slightly bumpy landings, mine flew down as we landed. The snack prices were not as awful as they could have been - besides having to pay for sodas and things, the liquor and snack prices were on par for the regular airlines.
Would I fly Spirit Airlines again? Yes, I think I would for small trips. We have actually discussed using Spirit to fly for weekend trips to different places. What has your experience been with Spirit? Do you have an airline you love/hate?