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I feel like the overwhelming  majority of the American population hates flying Spirit. When I tell people that I’ve booked a trip with them, this is essentially what I get:

image“Oh no, I hear they are the worst!”

“Wow…have you flown with them before?”

“You’re brave, I could never do it!”

“Haven’t you read that one guy’s terrible review? Here, let me show you…”

Well it all falls on deaf ears, because I’m one of the few people in America who actually enjoy Spirit. They are the epitome of “you get what you pay for”, and I’m absolutely okay with it. Here’s why:

the devil is in the details.

I think most of the airline’s complaints stem from the fact that people don’t read thoroughly enough. For example, if I had a quarter for every time someone was outraged that they had to pay to print their boarding pass at the airport or were pissed because they didn’t get free pretzels on the flight, I’d be rich. These are all things PROMINENTLY listed on the website, and all throughout the booking process. You just have to read them.

I highly suggest anyone booking for the first time with Spirit (or any airline they aren’t familiar with) to take a good, long, look at the website for their guidelines on baggage, seating, meals, and etc.

loopholes.

The reason Spirit has such low fares is because they cut the frills. You won’t get movies, headphones, blankets, or complimentary pretzels on their planes, but those luxuries won’t get nickled and dimed into your ticket price either. Yes, everyone pays individually for any expenses they want, but there are definitely ways to keep them little to none.

When I’m booking roundtrip flights, instead of checking a bag for $60 or taking a carry-on for $70, I put all my things in my “free personal item” – a large shoulder bag from Victoria’s Secret. I may also save myself an additional $20 – $70  by getting a randomly assigned seat (depending on my mood). I usually prefer to sit in the front of a plane, but honestly as long as I have my books and good music, I’ll be okay. Since snacks aren’t included, I make sure I pack something light like fruit and granola bars, etc. Using these strategies, I know those low advertised prices (like my $37 round-trip flight from Chicago to New Orleans) are secure without spending  a penny more!

they know who they are.

Nothing kills me quite as much as a cheap product branding itself as luxury. Spirit knows their niche – a budget airline that people love to hate and hate to love. This is made apparent by the straightforward language on the website and sarcastic nods in media/advertisements. On my most recent flight, the pilot even joked

“If you have a problem during this flight please be sure to let us know. We will NOT accommodate you, this is Spirit Airlines, after all…”

Obviously, that’s not how they truly handle situations, but the fact that they joke about it is comforting to me. Too many companies do their best to hide their flaws by all means necessary – even to the extent of denying the concerns of their customers as “valid” in the first place. I won’t get into specifics, but let’s just say I’ve taken trips with much more expensive airlines that offer service far worse than what I’ve received on any of Spirit’s aircrafts.

Have you flown Spirit or any other budget airline? How was your experience?

Lauren Victoria

Lauren Victoria

Lauren is a Chicago native and budget traveler obsessed with foreign languages, neuropsychology, dancing, and applesauce. She recently quit her full-time job in social services to be a human English dictionary in Madrid, Spain.
Lauren Victoria
  • I’ve flown Spirit twice. The 1st flight was back in 06. They were still relatively new at the time. I didn’t have any problems at all. The 2nd time I flew with them the returning flight was an hour late and the plane was small. I’m actually flying with them again in August. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  • Had to come check out your article after you commented mine! How funny that we both are touching on Spirit. Everything you said here is true! Most complaints stem from people not reading the policies and thinking that all airlines are the same. I would know – I’m that person who complained once upon a time! Now I’m all about budget airlines since I know what’s up!

    Reading is so fundamental! Haha, I’m gonna share this post 🙂

    • Yes, it’s such an incendiary topic as of late! Thanks for your support 🙂

  • Pingback: How to Save Money on Spirit Airlines Flights | Ciao, Chicago!()

  • Rae

    I fly Spirit all the time, especially when I’m going a short distance. I honestly don’t think it’s that bad because I know exactly what to expect and I prepare well for it. I absolutely no problem foregoing all those things people think they need for 2 hours.

    I’ve never flown Spirit for more than 1 hour flights, but I’ll get that experience in September. But of course, I purchased my bags as I purchased my ticket and I’ll be eating before the flight and also making sure I have snacks and in flight entertainment.

    • The longest I’ve flown Spirit was 3.5 hours. I really don’t mind it as long as I can get up and stretch once in a while. If I’m feeling bougie, I’ll get the exit row seat 🙂

      And you’re a good one, I NEVER pay for luggage lol!