Updated: Dec 25, 2019
Who is Spirit Airlines?
Spirit Airlines is a low-cost, budget airline. You’ll either hate them or love them. From what I hear, most folks hate them. Some call the carrier, “the Megabus of the skies,” or the infamous, “Soul Plane.” Then of course, it’s said that Spirit is unprofessional, and have horrible customer service. For the most part, the complaints usually boil down to one thing... THEY CHARGE FOR EVERYTHING! Even a cup of water.
Well, Let’s Review
The great thing about Spirit is that they lay it ALL out on the table, per their website. This is to make sure that there is absolutely NO confusion or misunderstanding of their fees and policies.
What is a Bare Fare?
Bare Fare is an unbundled fare. Or in other words, everything is a la carte. With Bare Fare, you receive an unassigned seat, and 1 personal item. The personal item must be a small carry-on, no bigger than
18 x 14 x 8. Outside of that, you will pay for anything extra.
This is where the extra costs come into play. You snagged this awesome deal to Vegas for $68 round trip, (taxes and fees included). Whoohoo!!! Then you come to the section where you’re asked if you are bringing bags.
Add a carry-on $37 one-way, round trip $74
Add a checked bag $32 on-way, round trip $64
Bare Fare $68 + Carry-On $74 ($37 x 2=$74) + Checked Bag $64 (1 bag $32 x 2=$64) =$206
Now, you do have the option to skip and not add a carry-on and a checked bag. You can stick with $68 round trip, Bare Fare and 1 FREE personal item. Keep in mind, if you do decide later that you would like to add a carry-on and/or checked bag, the price will go up. There is a price difference when paying online vs. at the airport. In addition, overweight bags will rack in more fees.
Pick Your Seat
Seat prices for example $14, $20, $26, and $73 etc… EACH WAY.
Fare $206 + Seat Selection $40 ($20 x 2=$40) =$246
You also have the option to skip the seat selection and allow Spirit to choose your seat during check-in at no extra charge. However, you could end up in the dreaded middle seat, but your fare remains $68.
If you print your boarding passes with the agent at the airport, it’s $10 EACH WAY. At the Spirit Kiosk, in the airport it’s $2 per printed pass EACH WAY. Therefore, I suggest printing it at home, or anywhere printing is FREE.
For entertainment purposes, let’s include the online check-in fee.
Fare $246 + Check-In fee $20 ($10 x 2 round trip check-in = $20) = $266
Then taxes $32 + Fare $266 = $298
Your Bare Fare went from $68 round trip, to $298 round trip. If you stick with the Bare Fare, you save $298-$68=$230
Snacks and Beverages In-Flight.
Most airlines offer a complimentary snack and beverage. However, Spirit DOES NOT. Snacks and Beverages are $1 to $10.
**Remember: Fees and Policies are subject to change, therefore check Spirit's website for accuracy.**
The Get Over It
Riddle me this - After knowing all the above, why do folks still hate Spirit? It’s a budget airliner. I hope they weren’t expecting Sprit to roll out the red carpet, while handing them a glass of bubbly, as they board they’re $68 round trip flight. Wait, I got it. It’s because they charge for certain bags, seat selections, snacks and beverages. Well…they did an awesome job of informing us this.
As far as customer service goes, in my opinion, it really isn’t the best. But, I haven’t seen anyone dragged and beaten off the plane, unlike another airline we’ve all heard about.
Spirit is also known for too many cancellations, delays, and missed connections. In these cases, you are required to rebook and pay for another plane ticket. Hmmm…I have heard stories of this happening, but I also have heard stories of passengers being rebooked on the next flight, at no extra charge. My best advice, is to invest in travel insurance and choose an early flight. Luckily, I haven’t had any misfortunes with Spirit Airlines.
How to Avoid Spirit Fees?
Fly Spirit for short trips.
If you are okay with a random seat, skip the seat selection.
Keep it light by flying with only a personal item.
Keep in mind that TSA allows you to bring approved snacks, and an empty water bottle that you can fill once you pass inspection.
Although people complain about Spirit Airlines, I see no shortage of passengers in their lines when at the airport.