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A Spirit Airlines Survival Guide

I’m one of the few people I’ve seen actually defend Spirit Airlines, and I’m going to continue to today.  I’ve blathered on about why I think people need to stop complaining about them ($17 fares do not imply any customer service), but I thought I would be more constructive and actually offer a Spirit Airlines Survival Guide to newbies flying the airline.

Step 1: Start by asking yourself if the ticket is actually as cheap as you think.  Remember, Spirit Airlines’ fares do not include any bags, and they are going to charge you for a bag whether you check it ($15/$25 each way, depending whether you are a member of their $59.95/year “$9 Fare Club”) or carry it on ($20/$30 each way).  When you see the fare, just tack on another $50, because you’re going to be paying it.  There are plenty of times when the fare will continue to be less-to-extremely-less expensive than the competition.  We just flew to Florida for the Christmas holiday for $160 round trip, about half of what others were charging; it was a steal even with bag charges.

Step 2: Consider whether you are someone who expects pampering on an airline regardless of what you pay.  If that sounds like you, keep your fingers typing past spirit.com and head over to jetblue.com.  Spirit offers a no-frills experience.  I have found their staff to both be perfectly acceptable (most-to-all of the flight attendants I’ve encountered), to ornery (the gate agent last week who literally screamed at a passenger for mistakenly moving in line), to impressive (the pilot who was walking though the plane, saw crumbs on a seat, and told a gate agent that he would not fly a dirty plane and would wait there until they cleaned the mess).  But overall, they are providing nothing other than a relatively new plane and cheap fares.  No TV, no free snacks, no free drinks.

Step 3: You’ll have to make a choice about seating.  It’s not entirely clear when you’re checking in, but you do not need to pay for a seat assignment.  They kind of suggest that you do, but you do not.  If you do not pick a seat (and the charge for that can be about $10 for a scrunched-in middle seat up to an actually-great-value $50 for a “big front seat” offering the space of domestic business class on other airlines), one will be assigned to you when you finish check in.  Let me repeat that:  they will assign you a seat for free if you are OK with accepting whatever seat you get.*  You may decide, though, to pay for the assigned seat.  That’s fine because of this fact:  despite what Seatguru and SeatExpert and Spirit Airlines say, the rows on the A319 and A321 in front of the exit rows have more legroom than the rows behind it.  The rows behind it have an almost humorously small amount of legroom.  It is humorous in the way that watching 12 clowns get out of a VW Beetle is humorous in that it is humorous if you are not one of the clowns.

* You are free to ask the gate agent to change the seat when you get to the gate.  I’ve seen them change the seat for free when they have a seat available.

Step 4: Only you are looking out for you, aka Spirit is an Every Man for Himself operation.  Here’s the single most important piece of advice I can give you about Spirit:  when you arrive at the check-in counter (and remember, since you basically have to check every bag because it is cheaper than carrying on, you will have to go to the check-in counter) you will note the similarities between that area and the roof of the American embassy during the fall of Saigon.  Do not, whatever you do, join the other people in the seemingly interminable line to check in (or if you’ve used a self-serve machine, the interminable line to drop off your bags).  Ignore the line.  Plant yourself in front of the counter, and ask (nicely) for someone to help you.  They will.  You will check in, and you will be on your way.  I really, really wish this were not the case.  It pains me to write that.  But not as much as it pains me to stand in those lines.  I know, it makes me a jerk.  And in general, I hate that guy.  But seriously, this is pretty much your only option if you are accustomed to flying an airline not named Spirit.  This doesn’t make you a bad person; it makes me a bad person for suggesting it.

Step 5: Ignore the credit card.  You will hear several pitches for the Spirit Airlines Mastercard, where they suggest that by signing up you will get free $9 Fare Club membership and several free round trip tickets.  Both of those are true, while offering significant drawbacks.  To wit:  the $9 Club membership is free only if you make a charge on the card each month.  Big deal?  No.  But still.  Also, those free tickets are only redeemable during a couple of months a year.  Again, not a gigantic deal, but considering it’ll cost you $50 to check your bags, I’m not sure those are really free tickets.

Step 6: Sit back (hold your knees tight) and relax (unless you’re on one of their A320s where the seats don’t recline).  If you’ve gotten a ticket for $200 cheaper than you would have anywhere else, stop worrying, bring a book, buy the $3 soda, and enjoy your trip.  Remember, you aren’t traveling Spirit because flying is luxurious; you’re flying it because you want to go somewhere.  Go there, and enjoy the extra couple of bucks in your pocket.


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119 Comments.

  1. Respectfully, you are an idiot, Sir or Madam.
    I must disagree with the “no-frills” argument you make, this is more of a “we shall treat you as less of a human” argument.
    I must insist that you stop defending this substandard airline…lest I use you as my flotation device when the plane shall surely plummet into the deep abyss, and feel not remorse for it.

    • You took the words right out of my mouth Melanie!!!!!

    • RIGHT ON DUDE

    • WELL said!

    • The Worst Airline ever I would not even give them 1/2 a star I flew from Houston,TX to Dallas,TX they managed to lose my luggage since DECEMBER 25th, I called all their offices in Houston, Dallas, and Florida I could not get anyone to call me back, I was lucky i got a hold of some IDIOT in the Houston lost luggage he asked me about my name and phone number so he said he was going to look for my bags and he would call me back WHAT A LIAR .IT IS THE WORST NEVER EVER FLY SPIRIT AIRLINE, I DO NOT KNOW WHO IS THE STUPID PERSON CALLED IT SPIRIT AIR LINES IT HAS NO SPIRIT THE WORST EMPLOYEES EVER THEY ARE losers and I DOUBT ALL OF THEM HAVE NO SOLE.

    • The truth. I have head this arguement b4. Most people rate them as “1″ but there is always some tout rating them a “5″

  2. I had a round trip ticket from Oakland to Las Vegas….flight NK 918 on 5/20 to be exact. I will never fly this airlines again…..dirty airplane, flight attendants (I don’t think there was any), there is no leg room and everything has a price (including carry-ons and water!!!) Besides all of this….the major complaint was there was a very disrupting passenger. I would either say on drugs or drunk….everyone in the plane was commenting on this passenger, he was loud and belligerent, some people asked him to calm it down but he would get in their face. The entire plane of passengers cheered when he walked off the plane at landing. Where were the flight attendants??? Hopefully fixing their crumbled clothing and hair?

  3. My new husband and I were flying to Costa Rica from Fort Lauderdale for our HONEYMOON! We encountered a very bad accident on the road to the airport and we were 15 minutes late for check in. We were denied on the flight, NO one helped us at the ticket counter, they didn’t even offer to help look up other flights or options, or help us. They had smug looks on their faces at Ft.Lauderdale airport, and just said “Sorry…you’re late.” and “There is nothing we can do, everything is FULL.” When we got home we tried to call customer service for options, they then proceeded to tell us that we were going to be charged our FULL airfare of $800 and that we were “no shows”. Their attitude was unprofessional, and very, what we call here “ghetto” . Where did they hire these people with gold teeth, and piss poor customer service, McDonalds???? Oh yeah, and try and call corporate headquarters….the number has been disconnected. Real professional. We will see you bankrupt and out of business very soon, which means all of you terrible Spirit Airlines employees…unemployed! (Only directed at the bad ones). Karma is a bitch.

  4. I have to say this is the first time i have ever written a negative review on anything. Just had to do it with this scamming unprofessional airline. I fly four to 6 times a year and I have never had such a miserable experience as i did with Spirit Airlines. The employees were the rudest people. I just wanted to pay for my carry on bag which was 40.00 dollars. they kept sending me in circles. My flight was almost 4 hours earlier then it was supposed to be and then delayed. As I approached the gate and asked the guy whose was taking the tickets at the time of boarding, he wouldn’t give a straight answer if that was my flight boarding. So I just cut in and got on the plane and apparently it was. So good thing I did, because I was told by Spirit Airlines that there were no credits or refunds or standbys if you missed the flight you paid for. Half the plane was empty. I felt bad for all the other people that missed their flight and got scammed!! The plane was the dirtiest I have ever seen. I caught the flu the next day. I wouldn’t doubt it was from that filthy air that was circulating on that plane. Read other reviews….They say it all. In the future I will fly all the rest…but never again SPIRIT AIRLINES!!!! One more thing….$2.50 for water!!!!

  5. howardbass201

    We must follow those guides to have a safety travel. I see those guides at the back of my ticket.

    Spirit airlines

  6. How many of you have taken taxis in your life, what about a city bus, subway system? I bet everyone of you. You do it to get from point A to point B. They are nasty, the drivers are rude but you get there! Spirit is just jumping on board with a cheap version of the public transportation system in the air. Enjoy the cheap flight!

    • you’re assuming the flight takes off. I had to run over to delta after a 12 hr wait. I suggest you read my 2pg worst experience of my life. I’ll pay the extra $50 and fly Delta, thanks.

      • I agree with you. We are assuming the flight takes off. I also experienced a 10 hr delay on a flight Friday 01/10/2014,and because of that we missed our cruise. I hate Spirit airline, cant wait to see going out of business big time

  7. krishna saipureddy

    BLODDY HELL AIRLINES I RECOMMEND DONT SUFFER..

    THEY WILL SHOW LOW PRICES..THEY WILL SUCK UR BLOOD AND MONEY ..UNLESS UR DONE WITH UR JOURNEY…

    PLEASE DONT FLY..

    IF U WANT TO GET UR BOARDING PASS 5$ ON AIRPORT..AND THE FUCKING TICKETING CREW NEAR CABBAGE WILL LOOK AT YOU BUT NEVER HELP..

    IF U WANT TO TALK TO CUSTOMER SERVICE>>WAITING TIMS IS 30 MIN…BLOODY HELL..AIRLINES..I WILL GO WITH THIS AIR LINES…

  8. VIVIANA TIMMONS

    SPIRIT AIRLINES PROVIDED US WITH THE WORST TRAVEL EXPERIENCE EVER. OUR FLIGHT WAS CANCELLED WUTH NO EXPLANATION. THE SPIRIT STAFF AT THE LAS VEGAS AIRPORT WAS RUDE. THEY GAVE US A 7 DLLS VOUCHER YES, THAT’S RIGHT SEVEN DOLLARS TO GET A SNACK AND FLEW US BACK ON A DIFFERENT AIRLINE THE NEXT DAY. NO LIVE PERSON ON THE 1-800 NUMBER DESPITE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS. I WOULD NEVER FLIGHT ON THIS AIRLINE AGAIN EVEN IF THE TRIP WAS FREE.

  9. First of all I disagree with all the negative commwnts. When you pay 75%cheaper dont expect a full course meal and free drinka duh. Spirit is the only airline ill ever fly with . They get me where im goin safely and on time most.of the time early. If you bitch aboit go pay 3times as much and enjoy a luxourious ride. Me id rather fly hungry for bout an hour and save 300 dollats Spirit has made it possible for to go places ive never been cause its ao cheap. Keep it up spirit. For everybody who complain go fly somewhere else that way ill have more room on my spirit flights

    • I’ve never seen a $17 flight offered on expedia or cheapoair or the other sites i’ve seen spirit advertised on. Where are these $17 flights you people speak of? please put a link at the bottom of this page! You can’t use the flights offered by their CREDIT CARD as an example. I can use my CREDIT CARD points from my banks travel card and get my flight on *any airline for next to nothing if I save them up. I only paid $50 more when I ran over to delta and flew with them. if you could get me to florida for $50 fine, maybe i’d consider this airline. I mean, as long as I didn’t ACTUALLY have to get there, time booked off work, rental car waiting, etc Of course my flight never took off while all other flights in the airport did. Also my spirit flight was nearly $300 while the delta flight i had to take in exchange was just over $300 RT. I’ll pay the extra thanks!

      • I just purchased $40 round trip to Vegas. You need to sign up for their emails. Prices for most of these flights are only good for 24 hours and on limited days. I have flown with them two times without any problems. Yes it is no frills but who cares?

  10. I used to have the same attitude as Jared, the author of this blog. However…

    After many years as a loyal Spirit customer, enduring the indignities associated with their “cheap fares”, I am parting ways with Spirit for good.

    Spirit has “expired” the 27K miles I earned, representing 5 one-way reward trips, because I did not use the credit card associated with my Free Spirit account — even though I had just paid the $59 annual fee to keep the credit/Free Spirit account.

    So, Spirit, keep your rude attendants, your dirty, uncomfortable non-reclining seats, your downright nasty ticket agents, your non-accessible (do it on the web) “customer service”, your we-backed-out-of-the-gate-on-time-therefore-we’re-not-late-sitting-on-the-tarmac-for-2-hours attitude, and let’s not forget your ridiculous fees for everything from carry-on bags to toilet paper.

    I can’t wait to see you elbowed out of Atlantic City by another airline who will actually respect its paying customers.

  11. I had a very pleasant experience flying on Spirit. The planes were clean and the attendants helpful and professional. Everyone was professional from the agents to the pilots. I arrived at my destination early both ways. I would definitely use them again.

  12. SPIRIT AIRLINE IS A DISGRACE!! I found this article AFTER trying to find as many ways to report them after they “accidentally” cancelled my Marine’s flight- and after multiple conversations with their customer service team in INDIA the longest conversation being over two hours the shortest over 45 minutes – they will do NOTHING to fix anything. His original round trip ticket was $350 dollars and he had to pay another $1200 to get to San Diego and back because of last minute tickets. DO NOT FLY THIS AIRLINE. In the time we were up at the counter trying to get things fixed (which never actually happened) two other people were occupying the only other available consultants with similar if not worse issues.

    Check out what they did to this guy:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/05/01/veteran-group-calls-on-spirit-airlines-to-reverse-decision-denying-refund/

  13. They advertise themselves as a low cost carrier, however, this is far from true. We flew from DFW to Ft. Lauderdale for vacation. Spirit’s tickets were $100 cheaper than the competition. However, once all of the fees were paid, the cost exceeded the other airlines. What they don’t tell you is that there is a processing fee when you buy tickets over and above the price of the tickets; they have a 40 lb weight limit on checked bags…that’s 10 lbs lower than the rest of the industry; Spirit will charge you for your luggage being overweight; they charge you $40 for carry-on luggage that exceeds 16″…the normal carry-on bag is 20″; and they charge you a fee for anything their staff does for you…including charging you for printing a boarding pass at the airport. The list of ways they find to charge you is exhausting. I’m not willing to spend hours of my time reading their rules and regulations to have a chance on saving a few dollars. If you miss something, you’ll end up paying more than you expected. The other issues are the lack of space on the plane. I’m 6’2″ and I just don’t fit. My only option was to pay $30-$60 to upgrade to a more spacious seat. Next, the planes are simply dirty…to save money they don’t clean their planes between flights. Additionally, they cut corners on staff, hiring less experienced unprofessional staff…making the customers experience miserable. If they cut corners on staff on the plane and in the terminal, I’m only left to believe that they cut corners in hiring mechanics and other maintenance staff..which gives me cause for concern about the safety of their planes. I’ve NEVER seen so many mad and unhappy customers than I did during my flights on Spirit. If I wrote about everything I saw and heard that concerned me, this would be a book. For every dollar you think you are saving, you may have to pay it later in dollars, inconvience, and frustration. Lastly, don’t be late to your flight. If your not at the gate 15-30 min before the plane is scheduled to depart, you WILL miss your flight, will NOT be moved to another flight…unless you pay full fare, and you WILL LOSE the money you paid for the flight. I saw this happen 3 times while I was at the airport.

    Spirit Airlines will either be out of business in the next few years, in bankruptcy court, or a new CEO will need to come in a change the culture of their business. A business can’t continue to exist with a plan of allowing so many unhappy customers and a reputation of being a ripoff.

  14. I don’t see how anyone can defend Spirit Airline’s policy of masking the truth. Finding your true airfare with them is simply a shell game. Why do they have to be so deceptive? Whenever you do business with someone with that type of ethic you will be screwed in the end. No pun intended.

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    Is it very hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking
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  16. As most people have stated you get what you pay for – its a cheap ticket. However once I paid baggage fees and seat assignment fees for two people I could have flew a more reputable airline. I feel sorry for the employees of Spirit as customers are so pissed off by all the BS by the time they get on the plan there is nothing they could do to make your flight more enjoyable

  17. Just returned from a Thanksgiving trip to Denver, flew from MSP thru ORD on to DIA. I paid (including checked baggage) $190 round trip. What I was most appalled about on this trip was not the flight attendants, gate agents, ticket agents, fees or leg room – it was the behavior of my fellow travellers! PEOPLE: it’s called ECONOMY! You get what you pay for – if free soda and peanuts are what is important to you, then DON’T FLY SPIRIT. And as far as complaining about the baggage fees, educate yourself before flying – I booked online and the website was abundantly clear, not sure how it confounded so many of my fellow passengers. But if, like me, you are looking for a cheap flight from point A to B, go for it! Staff was pleasant, all of my flights were at least a 1/2 hour early and the planes were clean. I will definitely fly Spirit again.

    • I can understand if you haven’t had a problem *yet* with this airline that this company seems like a great deal. I must admit even I’m tempted to fly with spirit if I found that price. At $50 a checked bag you spent only $140 RT? wow, how did you manage that? my RT from DTW to SW florida was $289 excluding any baggage. As I’ve mentioned numerous times here that price is only a bit less than Delta was when they kept me waiting 12 hrs for a flight that ultimately never took off and I had to hurry over to the other terminal and take off with them instead in Detroit.

      • tempted by the devil again… I was just thinking…of course even that $140 won’t be cheap when they cancel your flight after you’ve waited 12 hrs and they refuse to refund it now will it? answer me that. Their customer service is disgraceful you’ll never get your money back and you might as well have taken the airline that will get you there.

  18. I personally have never had an issue with Spirit and I’ve been flying with them for years. You definitely have to do your homework and know their fees upfront. If you’re the type of person that wants to be catered to every step of the this airlines isn’t for you. I’m such a fan that I always check their site to see if they service a destination before I’ll check out the competitions.

    I challenge anyone out there to find a safety issue with Spirit, yes its a Greyhound in the sky but they haven’t had the safety issues the other Legacy carriers have had. Remember the seats falling over on American? How about Southwest being fined for intentionally ignoring FAA restrictions? They also fly the newest fleet in the States second only to Alaska Airlines. Lastly, for those of you who love AirTran, do a little research and see where AirTran has its roots. You’ll find they were the old Valujet, you know the one that crashed in the Everglades. Now owned by Southwest. Is having free baggage really that important to your safety? Feel free to fly them and leave an empty seat for me!!

  19. Joined the $9 fare club to get deals -I have yet to find a $9 fare. Seats are small, cramped and do not lean back. Although a regular fare may be a little less expensive than the other airlines, travel times are in the wee hours in the morning or at midnight in just a few airports in the Northeast.
    And, if you ever have an issue, don’t try customer service! I wanted to get help with a vocher that wasn’t properly credited to my account (voucher good for 60 days and I had flown twice during that 60 day period. I was left on hold frequently and often. Apparently, there is a 2 minute rule so their srategy is to not answer your question and place you on hold for exactly 2 min. When the employee (Romeo – in my case) gets back to you, the question is still unanswered . Supervisors are “busy translating so not available”. I was very insistent about being allowed to speak to a superisor (asked 4 times and placed on hold several times), I was placed on hold once again, this time for almost 10 more minutes.

  20. consider this...

    I can live with cheap and ‘no frills’ but this this airline can simply not deliver what they sell!!! 4 out of 4 flights are delayed or canceled and when I say delayed it was so much so that the connecting flights were missed which resulted in the necessity for an overnight stay and 2 unexpected trip stops. I would have loved rude or ‘no frills’ compared to having to use all of my work vacation time wasted in an airport, not with my family!!! This airline sold me a ticket and could not deliver. I lost family time that I will NEVER get the chance to have again. buying spiritair directly resulted in losing time with loved ones….not because of one flight but 4 flights ALL having issues. On top of that they were unyielding, uncaring, rude, disrespectful and compassionate.

  21. Never fly spirit! theives! beware! any money you “save” you’ll pay in other ways. BEWARE!
    After booking a week in advance, traveling at 4am from Robert q shuttle service in london on for a 9:58 am flight on Monday two weeks ago I was right ready for my flight at 9:58 am. This flight was delayed due to “weather”. There was a bit of fog. We heard flights taking off, other airlines were leaving the ground, by 10 am I could hear other aircraft landing as well if not the entire time. We were informed the aircraft could not land and it was diverted to Cincinnati instead of landing in detroit. We waited, we were told it would be delayed until 11 at first, then 12, the staff at dte called to try and get information, they did not know what was going on. We, the customers, waited patiently. They told us every hour that it would be here one hour later. Finally, after batteries drained on all electronics, 30 mins free wifi time well up, some of us sleeping, grabbing some overpriced airport food at our expense, children getting cranky, parents getting equally upset, at after 4pm we were told the plane was leaving Cincinnati. Flights had been coming and going for hours in detroit, even spirit flights! (We had been told our plane would be leaving Cincinnati before so we held up slight hope, it had taxied out we had been told an hour or so before but never left the ground. The plane did arrive at around 6pm (8hrs later after our scheduled departure time), there was a cheer from everyone inside, the staff who had been holding us at bay all day insisted they would get the plane cleaned up and be ready to board 5 mins after the passengers got off. Some of us talked to passengers getting off the plane, we heard of them being boarded 3 times, taxi-ing out to the runway, we heard of a fuel issue where they did not have enough to get to detroit, the details of this all a little unclear. We were expecting to be boarded shortly as the staff had informed us 5 mins prior, just then, they make an announcement our flight had been cancelled. I myself was 2 hrs from home and had taken a $70 shuttle to the airport and cleared customs, I had a rental car waiting for me in ft myers at a prearranged rate. I was looking forward to relaxing at my parents winter home in cape coral for the week. Well, there was an uproar! Some older gentlemen yelled for a manager, no-one heard of any compensation or another flight being arranged for us or anything! Spirit Staff threatened of calling airport security after obscenities started being hurled, “you b*tch” and whatnot and I noticed one or two standing by managing the situation. We were only told to go to The spirit booth and “see what we could work out”. There was at this time over 100++ people in line, all of us, and new passengers trying to check in. I butted in line pretending to be with a nice older couple to see what they were offering, I was sitting near this couple for the 8 hour wait. It was total chaos! I’d be surprised if I was the only one who wrote a review of this “flight” 506 from Detroit on Dec 3, 2012. It was either that or wait another hour in line to try and figure out how I was to get to florida. I was told that all flights were booked to ft myers airport for the next 3 days. Of course they were, they just cancelled a flight of 50+ ppl. I asked if there was anything going to anywhere in florida within a 2 hour drive. There was one the next day at noon to lauderdale. Knowing the line of 100 people behind me they changed my ticket to that flight. I would have to wait in the airport overnight, with complete uncertainty if that flight would go ahead as planned, be flown in to a destination 2 hrs from where I was going, have to get a rental car without my pre-arranged rate and figure out how to drop it back off in lauderdale or pay the $100+ premium to drop the car off at the ft myers airport upon departure. What was I to do!!! There was no flights to ft myers side. I had my time off work. After this was changed, while standing at the front still, another couple told me delta had a flight leaving in an hour to ft myers. I asked where, 3 miles in the next terminal. Not knowing if it was booked, its status, its price, etc, I went over there via shuttle. Spirit had nothing to where they were supposed to fly me (ft myers/southwestern florida airport just by bonita there). I could always suffer through and go to ft lauderdale if I must the next day at noon but that was NOT where I was going. Delta was less than $100 more than Spirit’s flight and didn’t charge the $50 bag, (so like $40 more than Spirit). I got on that flight, the return flight was at a more convenient time 3:58pm return not 6am with Spirit. It was settled, I was flying delta. I got on in just enough time. I could not cancel my ft lauderdale flight two hrs after it was changed I was 30000ft in the air. I informed them the next day (call centre in india)that I expected a refund for their trip that my trip was being executed by delta from this point forward. I informed them I had a return trip with delta as well so they could re-book my return seat. I had no need for spirit air. I have/had and still have no intentions to ever fly with spirit ever again. I have heard and been subject to horror stories and lack of customer service unimaginable. Spirit’s customer service is horrid. I had been offered one half of my trip refunded, a far cry from the whole amount that should be returned to me. Even this has now shown up. They promised it would be sent to their “accounting department”to figure out the amount. They told me it would take 6 days to issue the refund. over 3 weeks later nothing has shown up. I have talked to an older friend of mine who said he was promised $50 one time he never recieved. I suggest no-one ever fly with this airline if they need to get where they are going. If you can go later or stay later or whatever, feel free to give it a shot, but they are completely unreliable. Over booked and under staffed (at least in flight crew) This discount airline provides next to no service. The pilots were obviously overdrawn, but they should have had communication and let us know well before 8 hrs of waiting that our flight would be called off. Weather, as they claim, was not the reason or I wouldn’t have jumped on a delta flight 1 hr later, leaving and arriving on time. I talked to my cousin at Christmas yesterday. She said they got to the area with spirit once but then as soon as they landed they called and said they were overbooked for the return, asked if their party could delay a day or two and they would give them a voucher for a free flight. She would have taken it as she did not need to be back on the exact date they were leaving, however others in her party could not leave a day or two later than scheduled. this just goes to show you what I have told you. BE VERY CAUTIOUS WHEN FLYING WITH SPIRIT OR GO DELTA AND DO NOT FLY THEM AT ALL. My parents have had good luck with Allegiant Air. That is all. USE EXTREME CAUTION if you wish to use spirit for your vacation destination! For any questions you can email me at dnhynes@hotmail.com and I would be more than happy to go over my experience with Spirit air with you personally. Spirit doesn’t seem concerned about my bad experience, they are not even willing to refund a $272.65 RT flight they did not deliver on.
    The fact of the matter is, Spirit did not get me to my destination. Ft lauderdale was not my destination. I found someone who could. I want a full refund, not a voucher, not one half refunded. I went with another carrier because you cancelled on us after making us wait 8+ hrs. They are stealing my money. Spirit airlines are theives. That’s my experience. what’s yours?

  22. Well said, Jared! You basically offered a reasonable defense for flying Spirit. Plus they do fly direct to certain places that other airlines don’t.

  23. Spirit Airlines are the absolute worst I have ever traveled on. The customer service from start to finish was
    horrible. The lady checking us in was very rude. Then our plane was an hour and a half late so we were later
    getting to Ft. Lauderdale and had only 5 minutes to make it to our connecting flight to Orlando. Well, when
    we got to Orlando, my bag didn’t come. I arrived in Orlando at 8am and was told that my bag was in Ft
    Lauderdale and would be delivered around 11pm. Needless to say I was livid. The lady at the lost and found
    was very rude to me and had no compassion. This is the worst airlines in history!!! Plus you have to pay to
    pick your seat….who has ever heard of such?

  24. Sorry but this is crap! I don’t mind the no frills and being prepared part, what I mind is canceling a flight and leaving a whole plane stranded with no other flights. Mechanical problems are their responsibility yet they leave everyone with no flight, no excuse, apology, refund nothing. Sould be charged criminally for this behavior! It is fraud, stay away from this airline they should be shut down!!

  25. Any airline that requires a survival guide…is not worth the risk for me. Lol

  26. Our experience with spirit airlines was terrible. we were going from fort lauderdale to New York on January 13, 2013 and we were at the airport in time. After waiting in line for a while, we were told that the check-in is closed. Even after we heard that the flight was being delayed with 2 1/2 hours they still did not let us onto the plane. We had a 10 week old fussy baby with us but the supervisor, named TAYLOR, a tall woman with long dark hair and glasses, WAS EXTREMELY NASTY. When we asked to speak with the manager, TAYLOR refused to call her. We were essentially ignored when we tried to do something about it. We discourage everyone from using Spirit Airlines!!! Even if they claim they have cheap rates, additional charges apply for every silly thing, from baggage that weighs just a pound above weight limit to a cup of water. It is a shame for an american airlines to portray such despicable behavior.
    I want my rights in this STUPID SHAMEFUL NASTY “TAYLOR” needs to be off your company she is destroying your service
    Sincerely: Solomon Strulovic
    :evil:

  27. I’d like to know where the angry mob went that I waited all day in the detroit airport with. There was at least 100 other people that would have posted bad reviews here! it was only early december people! speak up!
    for all spirit defenders. two words for you: just wait.

  28. Im sorry but ur buying cheap tickets because thats exactly what you think you are going to get. Suprise suprise….you are NOT. It is exactly 35-50 to brung your carry ons in the plane per bag as well as your check in bags. However they do fail to telk u this as your buying your ticket. Oh yes, and they charge you for your seating as well. Very shady.

    • Someone who reads

      They do NOT fail to tell you that. It’s written in plain English on their site, and you don’t HAVE to pay for your seat if you don’t mind taking what seats are left after those folks who wanted to pay. You DO have to pay to ensure you sit with your family, if you are traveling with a group, etc. There’s nothing hidden – they lay all the fees out there.

  29. I am not an employee, I just started using spirit a year ago because they started a regular direct red eye to Vegas. I agree the planes are older and dirtier, but I always get there that night. The price is only $60 with bags as opposed to $250 on other airlines one week ahead. You can not beat this. I agree that taking them with a transfer is not wise probably so spend the extra on another airline then. This is no frills. Btw: I have never had my carry on bag checked by the attendant at the gate. So I do not pay for it. Thatis 14 flights not paying for it. I am sure I will get caught sometime and pay the fee, but I am way ahead. Also, because of the older planes, the overhead is actually larger than the new planes. If you had money, you would fly united so don’t complain. Use spirit how it was meant to be used. One hop , no transfer direct flights. Also, they do give compensation if they cancel a flight, but like everyone else, not for weather. If you complain, blame it on yourselves for being cheap and not leaving enough time. Just take greyhound and you will think spirit is angelic.

  30. I am not an employee, I just started using spirit a year ago because they started a regular direct red eye to Vegas. I agree the planes are older and dirtier, but I always get there that night. The price is only $60 with bags as opposed to $250 on other airlines one week ahead. You can not beat this. I agree that taking them with a transfer is not wise probably so spend the extra on another airline then. This is no frills. Btw: I have never had my carry on bag checked by the attendant at the gate. So I do not pay for it. Thatis 14 flights not paying for it. I am sure I will get caught sometime and pay the fee, but I am way ahead. Also, because of the older planes, the overhead is actually larger than the new planes. If you had money, you would fly united so don’t complain. Use spirit how it was meant to be used. One hop , no transfer direct flights. Also, they do give compensation if they cancel a flight, but like everyone else, not for weather. If you complain, blame it on yourselves for being cheap and not leaving enough time. Just take greyhound and you will think spirit is angelic. :lol: :idea:

  31. Spirit Airlines really sucks, they let you think you are getting a special for your trip but that is not true. They make you pay for everything!! And small carry-ons are not free, even the one is within the measures, you have to pay $45 at the time to check-in or at the last minute when you get at the gate, they charge you $100 for each one. When you ask them to explain, they just say.. Here nothing is free! They are rude, ugly people works there, never ever me and my family will fly with this airline again. Not recommended at all.

  32. :mad: DO NOT USE THIS AIRLINE!!!! We got to the airport and hour before our flight like the ticket says to do…. the lady checking us in did not know what she was doing so 15 mins later after we already pay $70 for our bags they go “oh the checkin has already closed so you missed your flight” Then tell us the next available flight is A WEEK AWAY!!! Ummm….yah that’ll work for me, NOT! So they say we can be on standby for the one the following day at 1:30AM. We take our chances and basically sit in the airport for 14 hrs b/c checkout is at 11am from any hotel. Just to find out that that flight is overbooked and we dont make it on standby. So needless to day $1400 later we are back home. Had to buy last minute one way tickets from Vegas to Houston with a REAL Airline (United) which were $600 each plus the extra hotel nights stay.
    Save your money, time, headache and tears!!! They charge for EVERYTHING!! They charge for your bagage ($45) then if its over 40 lbs its another $30, they charge for seating $10-25, they charge for carry-on, they charge for tap water on the plane. Oh and they wont say anything about your carry on at the counter so when you get to the gate they can charge you $100 for not doing it at check in like you’re a mind reader or something. Seriously Fuuuuuuu$& Spirit Airlines!! I hope they go bankrupt and they probably will the way they treat their customers!!

  33. Buyer beware!! One of the crappiest flight experiences ever and after it was all said and done, I could have flown any other airline for the same price. I do not recommend for anyone beside a college kid flying home with only a small duffle bag of socks…. Otherwise, it will cost you $40 at best and at the gate it could cost you $100. Again, would not recommend and hope to see them go under very shortly!

  34. Can anyone tell me how to talk by phone with a live Spirit rep? My confirmation says I have to talk with a rep but no such option is on the recordings at the phone number they tell me to call.

  35. Worse airline ever. They are money hungry and extremely rude. Beware do not fly with spirit

  36. I had a bad experience just a week ago with Spirit Airlines.I am Mexican and my girlfriend is from Germany but she is living in Mexico and we decide to go to the states so we bought the tickets very cheap for 350USD round trip for both of us. We went to do the check in and they said she needs to buy a ticket back to Germany if she wants to go to USA, because thats the requirements of Spirit airlines and of course I was arguing, because they should say that before buying the tickets. After a while I was worried of course for to miss the flight and I said ok we will buy the tickets to Germany, and the recepcionist said ” sorry I closed the flight, if you had not been arguing, you would have had time for to buy the tickets”. In the end I had to buy tickets for to flight the next day to miami with American Airlines, for 500USD only for to go there, and they didnt ask for the ticket to Germany, and the service was much better. If you want to go to the states dont fly with Spirit because they will find a way for you not to take the flight. I hope a lot of people read this post, because it is not fair, and I am really mad because they said to me, ” a lot of people have this problem”, and I said, “so why dont you do something about it?”.

  37. I got screwed by Spirit Airlines
    Horrible costumer service called with issues refused to help me , refused to let me speak to a supervisor , charged me extra for a bag that I had already paid for, would not let me board with out paying 100 dollars which I had already paid for. I was on time, but Spirit decided to have an early departure and almost left without me. If you enjoy flying on a loud filthy plane with rude flight attendants I highly recommend! NEVER AGAIN and I will tell everyone I met how horrible Spirit Airlines is, seriously they don’t give a shit about costumers just ripping people off to make as much money as possible.
    Why are they still in business? :evil: :evil:

  38. I strongly agree with the last commentator, that you are an idiot. You might also have got some Spirit advertising money to write this. Shame on you.

  39. I was on the flight from Dallas to Denver on Friday June 21st. Not only was the flight delayed 2 hours but we also made our connection in Denver. The flight to Denver was just horrible with loud people yelling all the way during the flight and not ONCE did the flight attendant ask them to keep it down even though they were extremely disruptive and loud. Things got nightmarish when I landed in Las Vegas and found out the luggage they charged me to check-in was lost. So here I am in Vegas without clothes, with all my belongings gone and my planned 3-day vacation turns into a nightmare. The luggage people were not helpful and I had to call 55 times to get a person to talk to me. Saturday morning the luggage is still gone and I have decided I am got sick of this and just ending my miserable vacation and heading back to Dallas. They have ruined my weekend and they will ruin yours too. I am NEVER taking any flight with this airline ever again and I want all people out there to know how bad this airline is.

  40. I decided to book Spirit Airlines after reading so many negative reviews. I am a frequently flyer but the Non-stop round trip ticket price from BOS-MYR was unbelievably low. I was first taken back by the baggage fees but then decided it was till worth the savings and decided to suck it up. Then I couldn’t belive that you actually had to pay to reserve an actual seat. Again, I sucked it up and waited to be assigned our seats. I arrived at the airport 2 hours before my flight and all went well. I started thinking “wow, this airline isnt that bad”. My family and I board the flight and we were pretty impressed with the interior look of the plane. It was a newer aircraft and looked very clean. I sit down and again I was taken back this time by the seat space and also the fact that the seats do not recline AT ALL. We were cramped in like cattle. Then minutes before take-off the real nightmare begins. The Captain announces over the intercom that there is a document issue and we would be delayed by 10 minutes. Awe, not so bad! 20 minutes later the Captain is back on the intercom telling us that he has bad news for us and there was a problem with the personnel and the flight had to be canceled. They ordered us all of the plane and advised us to all go back to the ticket counter. Since we were at the back of the plane the line was huge. We were advised that we had two options: Get a full refund or book on another flight with them in the near future. Another flight in the future not this date but the earliest was three days away. I called the customer service number and inquired if I could get a refund over the phone to prevent the lengthy wait in line with my two small crying children. The customer service agent told me he couldn’t issue a refund because the flight was in the air and was only 10 minutes delayed. Are you kidding me there were 200 passengers in line there was no plane in the air. So, after waiting 3 hours in line for my refund I was offered a $50 voucher to be used on Spirit within 60 days. Are you kidding me I told them to keep their voucher because I would be filing a complaint. This cancelation has cost me 100′s in prepaid ticketed events that I had pre-purchased for my family. I also had a prepaid Auto Rental that I have lost money on as well as one night hotel for not canceling within 72 hours. There was absolutely no compassion shown by any of the employees at the airport or on the phone. This was not a weather related or mechanical cancelation but a straight up error by your company. Here I am typing this E-Mail as my 2 small children are crying in the backround becuase Spirit Airlines ruined our vacation. How can you offer me a $50 voucher and have no compassion is beyond me! I will be looking forward to hearing from you regarding this serious problem.

    Another thing. I have noticed that when their flights have been delayed (or cancelled) the info through http://flightstatus.com and http://tripit.com does not update — the cancelled flight was still showing On Time three hours later. I guess they don’t have much incentive to make timely updates of bad news.

  41. Do not under any circumstances fly Spirit Airlines

    I was on a flight scheduled to go to Las Vegas at 520 and by 600 there was still no plane. I told the woman at the front that I had to use the bathroom and she threatened that if I were to use the bathroom I would miss my flight. Like a good citizen I adhered to these directions.

    At 645 the plane had yet to arrive and I shat my pants. As feces ran down my leg I became alarmed and fought the urge to rush to the bathroom. I asked the woman if it would be suitable for me to remove the feces from my undergarments before boarding the plane. She refused.

    When I boarded the plane I was attacked by looks of disgust and pity from my fellow travelers. I asked a flight attendant if I could perhaps borrow a pair of undergarments for the flight and he told me that this was not a good will store. Then I was charged seven dollars for a bottle of water which I used to cleanse the filth off of myself in the bathroom. When I sat down, I was forced to squirm around in my own filth for the remainder of the flight. A heavy-set woman sitting next to me told me that I should be ashamed of myself.

    This was a humiliating experience and I urge you that if you happen to fly spirit airlines, please move your bowels well before you board.

  42. Thanks, becaus I have a 89yr old grandmother flying, but I still followed what you said

  43. Yesterday I was traveling with my pet and arrived at the ticketing counter well before my flight as they require in order to check her in. At the ticketing counter they INSISTED on charging me $50 for her carrier because they insisted it was larger than their ‘free personal item’ size requirement..they went so far as ordering me to INHUMANELY DUNK my poor animal UPSIDE DOWN in this carrier to determine its size. TWICE. The abhorrently rude young woman behind the counter game me all sorts of unnecessary sass and attitude. The experience was extremely uncomfortable, upsetting, and I nearly missed the flight over it. I couldn’t sleep all the following night reliving the nightmare. This morning I actually googled their pet carrier policy: Spirit’s own website reveals they accept pet carriers sized 9x18x14 NOT AS PERSONAL ITEMS that must fit in a bin of 16x14x12!! YOU WOULD THINK ONE of the 10 representatives behind the counter including their supervisor would be aware of their own policies! Traumatizing!! This whole staff is in dire need of retraining- at best :evil:

  44. Let me start by stating my gratitude to Jared. His review and the many comments by others on his review prepared me & helped me survive my 1st trip on Spirit. Kudos to everyone.

    Here’s the deal: Spirit Airlines is a decent carrier if you’re traveling alone, not picky about where you’ll be seated provided you want to keep some money in your pocket by allowing the automated check in screen to select your seat for you FOR FREE, check in within 24 hrs before your flight and if you can print your boarding pass or can access it on your smart phone so you can take your bags to Fast Bag Drop. Yes, the seats are cramped and don’t lean back (thank goodness!). Yes, they really push their Mastercard program (ignore them). Yes, you will pay for a bottle of water, a pillow, a blanket, a pack of cheese and crackers (credit cards only, no cash accepted, no change given). Bring your own snacks, buy your water in the airport after the TSA screening. Yes, and this is important, you are allowed a carry on item FOR FREE and should NOT select it as a paid carry on item on their website. It confuses travelers and makes them think they have to pay to carry on their knapsack but that’s not the case at all. Your knapsack/book bag/ruck sack, small luggage with wheels is a free item and does not need to be paid for so ignore that portion when purchasing your ticket on the website or via phone. There’s even a size box before you enter the plane that shows you what size can be carried on for free. If it can’t fit under the seat in front of you or if it takes up considerable space in the over head compartment (and you should know by now how big an over head compartment is), you need to pay for it as a carry on item. I’ve seen some carry on wheeled luggage that should have been checked and I swear I don’t know how or why it was allowed as a carry on in the 1st place. Don’t try to be slick or take chances; you already know how big it is and you already know if it’s carry on or check worthy. Make it easy on yourself and the staff.

    I was 1 of the many who’s flight was canceled due to the snow storm on Jan. 21 so my flight had to be changed. I ended up leaving 3 days later with a 4 hour layover in Detroit instead of a direct flight to NY. I didn’t stress over it or complain because I knew there were thousands of others who’s flights had to be changed. As soon as I found out about the cancellation, I contacted them immediately (you MUST make arrangements up to 1 hour BEFORE your flight is scheduled to take off to change your flight for FREE if due to weather, based on their “Weather Buster” policy). If this happens to you, just stay calm and stay on the phone until you get a telephone rep. You can also change your reservation online but I think a rep is best. Expect your call to be dropped a few times before you speak to 1.

    Please, thank you and a non-confrontational attitude can go a long way and make for a smoother interaction which may guilt the Spirit staff into going the extra mile for you, even if you’re justifiably angry.

    Prepare for the worst (print your boarding pass at home, check in early, make sure your luggage is 40lbs and under, pay for your arrival and departure bags online, get your snacks before the flight, use the restroom before your flight), hope for the best (as little interaction with the staff as possible) and try not to let the numerous bad reviews cause you to come out with guns ablazing at the 1st moment of a snag in your travel plans.

  45. Scammed,rude personnel, uncooperative, hidden fees everywhere, no entertainment, packed like sardines, no reclining seats, safety a big question, maintenance issues, overuse of plain issues, failure 2 keep schedule (early departure, missed flight), no help from management, rudest people I have met in the industry. No bargain, you pay more than US air when its all said and done. If there is an emergency few will get off that plane. Where is the FAA?? Never Again. They ride those planes hard and underpay and overwork their staff. They are dangerous. They should be renamed “Soon to be a Spirit”. If u have any $ at all do yourself a favor and fly any normal airline.

  46. Stay away there prices are never low enough to deal with a them. You can buy a first class ticket by the time you are done with there “fees”

  47. This is mostly my fault for not fully paying attention to what I was doing when I made the reservation, but forgive me for being distracted trying to book a flight for a funeral at 11pm when I am barely able to keep my eyes open. I booked a flight on Spirit Airlines through Expedia.com and did not realize until after I made the reservation that I had entered the cities backwards. I called customer service immediately to try to cancel the reservation and was told that I would have to contact the airline directly in order to cancel the reservation. I then called the airline to cancel and was told that even though I had contacted them less than an hour after booking the reservation, there was no way I could cancel and obtain a refund since it was less than 7 days prior to the flight. The only possible option that was given to me was a $34 fee deduced from what I had paid and then turn the rest into a credit that had to be used to book another flight within 60 days. Unfortunately I do not need to fly again in that time frame. This means that they will be charging me for a service that I will not be able to use. This has been a difficult situation from the beginning and I am very frustrated with this airline. In my opinion, it makes every website look bad to be doing business with Spirit Airlines with their despicable customer service and policies. Had I known they were this poor of a company, I never would have attempted to do business with them I never will again and will inform everyone I can to avoid them.

  48. Picked spirit bc they offered the cheapest price for my flight. However, you don’t get to all the hidden fees till it’s too late! I spent nearly the same amount of money paying for fees like carry-on fees, fees to PICK a seat and then water isn’t even complimentary on flight. In the end, I’d rather fly with a better airline if the price is the same. Not choosing spirit for future travels. NOT RECOMMENDED unless you are traveling with just a personal bag (ex: purse or backpack). Not an actual carry-on luggage. Unbelievable and a complete insult. What was suppose to be an affordable flight turned into a bait and switch situation. I’d rather pay full price than be deceived. Did I mention not even water is free?! Complete rip off.
    PS
    Do not pick seats in row 10 as they DO NOT recline

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